There’s been a report of sex trafficking in the local area on social media in which two men were seen in Bancroft and Tuesday and were apparently heading to West Point. The Cuming County Sheriff’s Office, however, has received no such report. Chief Deputy Dave Brown. “We have not been informed of anything or any reports have come to our offices. What we’re seeing or hearing is the same thing that you’re observing on social media. Officially, no there’s nothing.”
Brown says it’s social media hype, but also advises the public to be cautious and be aware of their surroundings and report anything suspicious to local law enforcement.
Things to know when reporting anything suspicious to authorities include license plate numbers and what someone feels is a suspicious person, according to Brown.
Brown advises young people to be cautious online when it comes to this stuff. “What I guess I’d tell younger people is whatever you put on the Internet you can’t bring back. It’s out there forever, for everybody and anybody to see. And you have no idea who’s on the other end of your internet connection, and that’s where a lot of this starts.”
Brown says people pretend to be someone they’re not, and lure mostly younger girls into meeting them, which is when things happen.
He also says it’s always important for parents to monitor their kids’ online activity. “Parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing on the Internet. You always hear the kids say well that’s my right I can do whatever, no it’s up to the parents to watch what these kids are doing on the Internet, who they’re making contact with. Because we’ve had instances in this county where, and fortunately it never got to that point because their parents stepped in, but where these kids have made contact with who they assume is somebody their same age, same likes, same everything, and that they just want a friend that they want to meet, and they’re going to go to Omaha and meet in the mall. And all of a sudden maybe they had to say something to Mom and Dad well I’m going to go to Omaha. Well anyways one thing leads to another, Mom and Dad say whoa wait a minute you don’t know who this is you’re not going period type of thing.”
Brown says the number one thing is parents monitoring what goes on on social media, and second, the kids on social media have to understand they have no idea who’s on the other end.
Brown also advises not to put stuff on the internet cause once it’s out there it’s never coming back.
Brown says be careful with strangers in a public setting. “Don’t get involved with strangers. If you’re going to make sure it’s always in the public eye in a group setting. Don’t get separated where you’re out of sight from a crowd let’s say. That’d be one way, and I can’t say you can’t tell kids not to meet other people that you don’t know in a public place. But like the fair if you got some boys running around looking for girlfriends or whatever, but there might be strangers, and they might strike up a conversation. But once you get to the point at that point if they’re wanting to go well let’s leave and do something together over here, or let’s leave the fairgrounds for example. No, don’t do that.”
Brown says if it’s suspicious, report it by calling 911.