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Cyber human trafficking growing in the U.S.

EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) - "These guys are predators, that's one thing to remember," explained FBI Investigator, Carl Wright, "They know which ones are the weak ones."

Experts say human trafficking is growing in the United States. With the advancements in technology, predators are making their way online.

The "I'm Aware" team hosted an educational seminar focused on cyber trafficking.

Wright says cyber trafficking affects all members of the community. 

"In this day age in age, everybody is on social media because cell phones," said Wright. "Cell phones are now computers, and the kids are using that. We have predators using those forms of media to do their recruiting."

The cyber expert for the FBI tells NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson, video games with chat-rooms like the popular game "Fortnite" are significant factors how kids can become a victim of cyber trafficking. One parent at the seminar says she takes extra precaution.

"I hear his game system as he is playing it," said Stephanie Walker. "When things get quiet, I call him, Tyler what are you doing."

Walker brought her son and niece so they can learn what online predators are looking for.

She says stays connected with her son, even though it can be challenging to keep up with the advancements of technology that predators use.

"I promise you his G-Mail is connected to one my devices," explained Walker. "So anything that is sent to him, I receive it. Anything he looks at, I can tell what he is looking at."

Cyber trafficking includes; solicitation of a minor, child pornography, online identity theft, and cyberbullying.

Both Wright and Walker say it's important for parents to know what your child is doing when they are online.

"They are still our children," said Wright. "We are paying their cell phone bills, and we need to know what they are doing these cell phones."

"Keep open communication with your children," explained Walker. "Never have your children be afraid to come to you and talk, no matter what the situation is."

Click here to view the entire seminar. The video gives examples of cyber trafficking, and tips on how you can protect your child from online predators.


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