One South Bend mother learned a hard lesson about the dangers of social media. She said a pedophile targeted her 10-year-old daughter on Facebook by setting up a fake account and pretending to be a teenage boy.
She said her daughter really liked this boy. She even set up a day and a time to meet him at Hamilton Elementary on Jackson Road. That meeting came very close to actually happening, which is why this mother wants to warn other parents.
With over 900 million users and counting, Facebook has quickly become very popular with teens and even young kids.
Now, one South Bend mother said she will not let her kids near social media again.
“She is not allow on the Internet, she is not allowed to answer the phone, she is not allow to give out her name and number anymore,” said the mother who did not wish to be identified.
She said her 10-year-old daughter added a boy she did not know. The name on the profile read “Dustin Bieger”, which is very similar to the popular teen pop star Justin Bieber. The supposed 13-year-old’s profile is only one month old, and was created back on July 5.
Still, her daughter arranged to meet him at Hamilton Elementary School, on the city’s south side. When her mother found out, she went on to her daughter’s Facebook page and logged in.
“I was instantly sick to my stomach,” she said.
She found days of conversations between her daughter and Facebook user going by the name “Dustin Bieger”. She said he asked her daughter questions like, “Can you talk dirty to me?” “Do you like older men?” and “Have you ever touched a boy’s penis?”
“This is not a 14-year-old boy. This is a grown man on the other end of this computer talking to my 10-year-old daughter.”
While on her daughter’s account, she asked why he did not show up for their scheduled meeting at the school. He messaged her back and said he had seen police cars around area. He went on to say he was not sure that she was a real girl and felt like it was a trap set up by police.
Her mother’s intuition kicked in and she immediately called police to report it.
“I mean there is an entire neighborhood of kids. It’s not just my children whose safety is an issue now. There is an entire neighborhood at risk,” said the mom.
Now, she wants other parents to be aware of the dangers and take a closer look at their kids’ Facebook pages.
“She had to learned a hard lesson at a young age and hopefully it will stick with her for whole life,” said the mom.
Her daughter not only gave out the family’s home phone number, but also the family’s home address. Since then, the car the boy said he would be riding in has been seen driving past the house on more than one occasion. That is why police are taking this very seriously and have assigned a detective to look into it further.