Dateline - To Catch a Predator III  

rm_lovelyLady 65F
552 posts
2/6/2006 8:24 am
Dateline - To Catch a Predator III

Any one see this special on TV?

There has been a series of breakthrough investigations exposing a national epidemic: grown men trolling the Internet, many looking for sex with minors.

In two different investigations, in two different states, dozens of men showed up at their undercover houses after chatting about sex online and then making a date with a minor. Both of their investigations were watched by millions of people. It was the talk of radio and cable television shows for weeks.

So have sexual predators learned any lesson at all?

Apparently not. Just this week, Dateline was back in action for a third investigation, this time in Southern California. As you’ll see, some men are simply not getting the message.

50 men - hoping to meet a 13-year-olds - home alone. The men send pictures over the Internet of genitals, and then asked if the children would give them oral sex. They are in for a big surprise when the date line rep walked in. Like so many others, the man says he didn’t go to the house for sex, and was there to teach the girl a lesson about the dangers of talking to strangers online. Little does he know the dateline rep has a copy of his online chat secession

Unlike previous hidden camera operations, where after leaving the house some men were able to make a run for it, this time things are different.

For their investigation, Perverted Justice, the watchdog group that regularly catches online predators, set up a plan with the County Sheriff’s Department. a Perverted Justice volunteer who is inside the house alerts detectives when a potential predator is on the way. Once the man leaves the house—he can run, but he can’t hide.

One after another there is just a parade of potential predators. 50 men over a period of 3 days. They thought they’d heard it all, but nothing could prepare them for the kinds of thing they found during their latest investigation.

Dozens of older men show up, some of who’ve already been convicted of sex crimes with minors. Of those that are arrested, one is a member of "homeland security", another is a high school teacher, another is a committed pedophile, and many are convicted criminals, some on probation. Others have frightening criminal histories.

This program has totally blown me away, and makes incredibly sad. It makes me wonder just who is reading my profile and writing to me......

Watching the news can be so depressing.......

How can you be sure, the person you are talking with or about to meet - is really who they say they are? What do you do to be safe?

How safe do you feel?


hotandhorny107 60F

2/6/2006 10:11 am

How can I be sure? There is no true way. I pretty much make it a rule to chat on line or exchange emails for a while first. Make sure I get photos, and then talk on the phone. If things seem to be working, we make plans to meet. I always meet people in public places, well lit, places that will have others around, and we talk there again. If all is well, we take it from there. And of course I usually have a phone number or at least the person's name in my date book....(with the AdultFriendFinder handle)


rm_lovelyLady 65F
434 posts
2/6/2006 10:51 am

[blog SoyKOFLA] It is always Absoulutely OK. I am happy to share anything that can be of help to others... "You" can also Do a search for Dateline NBC 'To Catch a Predator.' and read much more about this. There is some very good advice for parents here and I think it would be wise for all women to check this out.

the investigations took place
• Outside NYC-area - in 2004 - 18 men in 2 1/2 days
• Washington D.C. suburb - in 2005 - 19 men in 3 days
• Southern California - in 2006 - 50 men in 3 days

The thought of how extensive this problerm could be, if this sort of investigation were to take place in each city, in each state or area.......

Thank You
[blog SoyKOFLA] and anyone else that wants to pass this along.....

xoxo LL


rm_lovelyLady 65F
434 posts
2/6/2006 5:58 pm

hotandhorny107I am thinking awareness is a good place to start. In this day and age it is better to be safe than sorry. Education and learning about the possibilities is good. And I would think if your new partner has nothing to hide, that they would not object to a background check, to start with. Personally, I have found that it takes time to really get to know someone, and I would rather take my time and be sure, than find out I have just exposed myself or my family to someone that could do irreparable mental or physical harm. Again, if He has nothing to hide, He will hide nothing - he wont mind you taking your time.

Think about it... How would you feel if it turned out your last encounter turned out to be a pedofile, or that they had just gotten out of prison for a serious crime? Unfortunately, the chance is there... Again, I think it is better to be safe than sorry.

[blog SoyKOFLA] seems to have some helpful information in his blog on different subjects and you can find some of it at [post 223068].

If anyone has some good ideas about how to be safe and make sure your new friend is who they say they are - please feel free to share your ideas here.

Even AdultFriendFinder has a section on safety -

Online Dating Personals: Safety Tips


While the Internet provides millions of opportunities for people to meet, you must remember to use common sense. It's easy to get swept-up into a fantasy world, but reality begs for us to use caution. Like the offline world, the online world has its ups and downs - good people and bad people. While the majority of people can be trusted, we must all be aware of the scammers, liars and the rare but present predators. While there are risks, hiding from the world is not the answer. There are many ways to protect yourself and find someone online! Here are several tips for you to remember.

Online Dating in General...

1) Use caution when choosing a handle. Select a handle that will attract the kind of person you are interested in meeting. Using a handle that has a sexual connotation will get noticed - not always by the type of person you'd like to have a relationship with, much less a conversation with. A gender-neutral handle may also be a plus and help fend off the jerks and creeps.

2) Never, ever give out personal information. This may be the most important thing for you to remember. Your personal information includes your real name, telephone number, personal email or home address. If they want to send something to you through the mail, get a post office box. They're not expensive! No matter how nice the other person may seem, you do not know them. While most people are decent, you can never be absolutely sure. Don't risk having this information fall into the wrong hands.

3) On the telephone?

* Activate your caller ID blocking feature to keep your number private.
* Don't call collect! Your number will show up on their phone bill.
* If you want the other person to be able to contact you, get a pager.
* Use a payphone. It may be a hassle, but well worth it!

4) Location is everything. You haven't told the other person your name, phone number or any other personal information. But, you've told them all about living in Anytown, USA with a population of only 1,102. Think someone who really wanted to could find you? The answer is yes. Telling someone that you live in a small town, even omitting your actual address, is not the way to go. On the other hand, saying you live in New York is probably a pretty safe bet!

5) Get a current picture. Use a current picture. This may not exactly be a safety issue - but more of an honesty issue. Be honest and post a current photo even if you've gained a few pounds! If the other person's picture seems to be outdated, and they refuse to update it, you must put them in the "dishonest" pile. Even if you do not have a scanner, there's a variety of cheap and easy ways to get a photo scanned. There's no reason for someone to lie, unless they're hiding something. Don't put up with their dishonesty.

Communication and Red Flags...

1) Get the details. Feel free to scrutinize the emails and chat sessions you have with another person. If they seem too good to be true, they probably are. If they're vague about their life, try to non-intrusively get some details. Red flags are people who are vague, talk in circles, or answer questions with questions. Be very cautious with these types of people. They may be playing hard to get, or they may not be on the level.

2) Are they hiding something? If the other person can only meet and chat with you in the middle of the night, they may have a secret. If you call them and they talk in a hushed voice or "have to go" all of a sudden, they may not be as single as they claim. If you call at a non-designated time and they get angry, feel free to assume that they're hiding something from you. Red flags are anyone who uses fancy footwork, excuses, or evasive maneuvers when asked straightforward questions. If they cannot be honest with you from the get-go, don't count on them to ever be forthright.

3) Instant love may not be what it seems. While you may feel an instant connection or powerful attraction to a person online, this does not qualify as falling in love. It may however fall under puppy love, infatuation, and even lust. But scammers and con artists have used the "I'm in love with you" angle offline for countless years. What's stopping them from going online to make their next score? Love takes time no matter what the fairy tales imply. Red flags are people who, after minimal online contact, express their undying love. Other hints may be that shortly after talking about being in love with you, they also mention how broke they are, how they just got laid off from work, or how their accountant took off with all their money. While the other person may just be a lonely soul who's truly attracted to you, you can never be sure. Slow things down and don't let "love" rob you blind.

4) Get their background checked, especially if you’re planning to take the next step and meet the other person face to face. By that point, you should know their name, so put your mind at ease with a background check. You can find several services online, many for a reasonable price. Even if you don't notice any red flags or get a gut instinct to back off, it’s a matter of respecting yourself and your safety. Your only red flag here will show up in black and white.

5) Don't put off meeting in person. While online relationships can be full of romance and intrigue, your ultimate goal is to meet someone, date them and possibly more. Why put it off? Why invest in a relationship online if it's going nowhere offline? Make sure the spark you get from your chat sessions and email also exists in the "real world". Red flags are anyone who puts it off or avoids answering your questions about meeting. And remember, if you do not have the money to invest in a long distance relationship, don't start one. Online dating requires that your brain and your heart work together to make the best and safest decisions for you.

Going Offline for a Meeting...Safety First

1) Once you've agreed to meet face to face, don't ask the other person to pick you up. Get yourself to and from the date, even if you have to beg a ride off of a friend or take a taxi.

2) Before you go, make sure that several friends and family members know where you're going, who you're going with and when to expect you back. Make sure everyone writes down the information so that there are no misunderstandings.

3) Always meet in a public place. A public place does not mean a parking lot - they are not monitored closely enough to be considered safe. Make your first meeting a lunch or coffee date. If the sparks don't fly, it's much easier to say that you have a meeting or some other commitment that requires you to end the date prematurely.

4) Stay in a public place. If they pressure you to go elsewhere, say NO. If they pressure you, they obviously don't care about your feelings - don't spare their feelings. End the meeting and leave. If they start to follow you to where you've parked, stop and hail a cab. Come back later for your car with a friend or family member.

5) If possible, bring a cellular phone. If you need help or feel a little nervous, excuse yourself to the bathroom and call for back up! Put together an instant, "accidental" meeting with a friend. They're also good for emergencies or in case you think your online love is an offline stalker who's following you home. Use the cellular phone to call the police - just don't head back home. Keep the person far from there. Drive to a police station if you feel it's necessary.

6) Never leave your personal belongings unattended. A purse or wallet contains all of your personal information. In your jacket pocket could be your keys. Just don't take the risk.

7) Do not leave your beverage unattended. If you do, nonchalantly ask for another drink.

Stick with non-alcoholic drinks. Being drunk is not a good way to be safe.

9) If all goes well, set-up another date before the first one comes to an end. Use your best judgment and gut instincts to determine whether or not the other person is worthy of a second date. Be sure that this second date (and any others thereafter) incorporates all of these safety tips. You're worth the effort! If the other person truly cares about you, they'd expect nothing less.

A Thousand Miles from Home...Extra Tips for Meeting a Long Distance Interest Be sure to use all of the tips mentioned above, plus the following tips if you plan to travel to meet your online interest:

1) DO NOT plan to stay at the other person's home for your visit. If you cannot afford a hotel, do not go.

2) If you've made hotel reservations, do not tell the other person where you're staying. They don't need to contact you there. You can contact them.

3) Let them meet you at the airport, but do not get in a car with them. They can help you with your baggage and help you hail a cab. Use cabs as your mode of transportation throughout your trip.

4) Be sure to keep in touch with friends and family. Have a schedule in place as to when you should call. And make sure they know where you're staying and how to reach you. Again, this is a good time to carry and use a cellular phone.

5) Just in case...keep your valuables in an in-room safe or in with the front desk - they often have safety deposit boxes available for free or a minimal charge.

6) When you leave, just to be sure, meet them at the airport to say goodbye.


Babel__Fish 46F

2/7/2006 6:15 am

Nice post here and A BIG thank you for Kofla pointing to this post.

Yes the net can be scary but right now I feel safe on it. I have been on this site for a bit over 3 years now and know some of the tricks that some people will use.

I am just sorry that I was not able to see the show being that I live in Belgium.

Babel


rm_lovelyLady 65F
434 posts
2/7/2006 9:21 am

You are very welcome Babel__Fish.
For anyone that is interested, you can read about
the Dateline program - To Catch a Predator III

Do an online search for "Dateline To Catch a Predator III"
and you can read about a lot of what they experienced during the
investigation. But, if you have a chance to watch this program I recomend it.
xoxo LL


Ladywithatti2d 77F  
495 posts
2/7/2006 9:33 am

Thanks for this post LovelyLady, I had a similar article in my own blog after the first airing of Predator II.

As you stated, there were actual convicted felons that had been convicted of sodomy of minors as well as actual . They interviewed the female victim of one of those convicted and re arrested. One felon had been convicted of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, or ADW. He looked so nice!!! totally harmless. UNLESS he decided otherwise!!. Imagine being charmed by him, and being duped, because they are excellent in what they do in convincing people, and winding up with him in your home, or worse in your bed, and THEN the ugly side of him shows up and you are now at his mercy.

As the Detective said, you really do NOT know someone you have just talked with, etc, You know WHO they want you to see and know. NOT who they really ARE.

The one profiled, convicted felon, had been a mentor, and "friend" like a Big Brother to a family that had no Father figure. The female who is an adult now, said he was wonderful. He was so great when they met him, everyone liked him. She was 9 years old when he began sneaking into her room french kissing her, and fondling her. THAT was AFTER he had already been molesting her mentally challenged older brother. After her, he began molesting her younger brother. Consequently this man had molested all three children in ONE family. When the female told her mother they went to the police, and he was convicted, tried and did prison time for molesting them.

Now there he sat at the counter AGAIN, with the intention of meeting a 12 year old boy for sex. he also had been charged with "oral copulation" with a 15 year old boy.

One point I would make in practicing safety.

IF and WHEN a female decides she is going to take the step to meet someone, as well as it being in a very PUBLIC place, she should make very sure that there is SOMEONE who has her location, cellphone# vehicle information. WHO she is supposedly going to meet, his screen name, his group he chats in, because others will have conversed with him as well, and if off line he may have a different story than the one YOU know, and all info could work against him.

Once you arrive at the meeting, be VERY sure, you inform him that SOMEONE knows WHERE you are and WHO you are with. In fact, a short call on a cell phone IN FRONT of him, simply announcing to the person that you have arrived safely.

IF the suggestion comes of re locating, AGAIN, make that cell phone call, and let SOMEONE KNOW, where you are going, and for approximatley HOW LONG you expect to be, before returning home.

With all that information out there, he isn't going to want to make a mis step and lead anyone to him if his plans are less than honorable, or if the meeting does turn sour, as some have.

Lady.


gussax 52M

2/11/2006 6:14 am

I agree with some of this. There is definitely a real concern this being a somewhat questionable site morally. A lot of us blog about just about anything and everything. One blog that I watch, the girl users her real first name, and has given over the time she has been blogging small tidbits of information such as what she does for a living, advice on projects she's been working on, etc. Enough that small information that when compiled could be used to find out more personal information.

Although I think that internet security is important, but I also think that we can go overboard. The likelihood of something happening is probably pretty slim. So I prefer to take the chance and accept the interaction with people that I get from this site. I probably wouldn't give out my home address or phone number, but would probably feel safe giving out my private email address.


rm_lovelyLady 65F
434 posts
2/11/2006 9:49 am

This TV special, Dateline - To Catch a Predator III, was about grown men trolling the Internet, looking for sex with minors.
One thing they mentioned was that of all of the times they have done this sort of investigation, there were NO women that showed up, all were men, lying about who they were...
Dozens of older men show up, lying about their age, some of who’ve already been convicted of sex crimes with minors. committed pedophiles, many are convicted criminals, some on probation. with frightening criminal histories.

No matter how we meet, I think it is important to take the time to really find out who we are with.


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