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Sex traffickers are using social media to target children

Your non-public knowledge isn’t the one factor that’s susceptible on Facebook.

The upward thrust of social media has been a boon for intercourse traffickers, making it more uncomplicated than ever for pimps to target, groom and promote your children, most sensible law-enforcement officers say.

“These predators are watching, and they’re listening. They’re friending. They’re seeing, ‘Oh, she’s not happy with school,’ ‘Oh, he’s upset against his parents,’ ‘Oh, he has issues with his sexuality,’ or, ‘She’s having problems with her friends,’ ” says Inspector Jim Klein, commander of the NYPD’s Vice Enforcement Unit.

“Next thing you know, these predators pick up on this, and they start becoming friendly to the point they’re now separating these victims from everybody that’s important to them.”

Some traffickers don’t even cover what they do.

“We’ve had cases where our pimps are . . . friends with [their victims’] relatives, and they’re posting about pimping out girls and making money,” says Queens prosecutor Jessica Melton.

All they want is an inexpensive advert and a burner telephone.

The classified-ads web site Backpage.com used to be seized and shuttered by means of the feds this month, but if it used to be in industry, 600 to 800 classified ads have been posted for “prostitutes” in New York state every day, in accordance to the NYPD.

Now Backpage’s competitors are transferring to fill the void.

“There are multiple sites that are going up on a daily basis,” mentioned Lt. Christopher Sharpe, head of the NYPD human-trafficking workforce.

Making issues worse, with transactions happening on a display, johns are turning into extra callous, says James Goward, leader of the Criminal Enterprise Bureau of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s available for you like getting food delivered by Seamless,” he says.

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