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Traffickers finding children on social media

"Social media has become one of the biggest ways to recruit," said Natalie Wood Riche, outreach specialist with the North Carolina Department of Justice.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If you were to check your child’s friends or followers on social media, would they be able to prove they personally know all of them?

North Carolina is ranked as one of the top 10 states for human trafficking. On Thursday, Nazareth Child and Family Connection and the North Carolina Department of Justice held a human trafficking and internet safety session in Rowan County.

North Carolina is a hot spot for human trafficking because of several interstates, big events, and Charlotte Douglas International Airport. 

Now, predators on social media are becoming more common.

"Social media has become one of the biggest ways to recruit," said Natalie Wood Riche, outreach specialist with the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Riche said predators reel in kids on social media who aren’t as savvy when it comes to keeping personal information private.

"According to Polaris, there has been approximately 1300 total reported cases and nearly 900 contacts in 2018," Riche said.

Richie said there are a few ways to protect you and your children:

  • Become an administrator on your kids' social media pages
  • Use privacy settings
  • Don’t accept requests from strangers

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