The Investigators: FBI says risk for child exploitation is higher during pandemic

The Investigators: FBI says risk for child exploitation is higher during pandemic

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The FBI has a disturbing warning in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bureau says there is an increased risk for child exploitation because children are out of school and online.

“The predators may not be going to work either,” said Bryan McCloskey, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Memphis field offce.

McCloskey says predators are manipulative and sometimes, young teens want more online friends.

“It’s a status symbol,” he told The Investigators. “Other times, nobody’s paying attention to them. They’re reaching out for someone. These predators come in and fill that role easily.”

McCloskey urges parents to talk to their children about internet safety and to monitor their online presence.

“It’s really all about having a conversation with them and understanding that what they put out there will always be out there,” he said. “So if you put a picture out there online, it’s always going to be there and never go away.”

The FBI office in Memphis has not seen an increase in cases for potential child exploitation. However, they do expect it to happen.

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