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Super Member

Joined: 18 Sep 2005

Last Visit: 31 Oct 2006
Posts: 2574
Location: Rhode Island

PostPosted: October 06 2006, 1:29 PM    Post subject:
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I received this from a friend today. I am not posting this to scare anyone...but just to reinforce the fact that you have to be very careful. I know since we all feel very safe here....we forget that ANYONE can read what we write. Pleaes be sure to PM any private information you want to share.

I know I worry alot...but better safe than sorry.

All who have children or grandchildren


After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on- line . She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:

Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was really weird!

LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you?
Don't you live in a safe neighborhood?

Of course I do. LOL I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I looked out.

Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?

Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

Did you have a softball game after school today?

Yes and we won!!

That's great! Who did you play?

We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees. LOL

What is your team called?

We are the Canton C ats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.

Did you pitch?

ByAn gel213:
No I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

Catch you later. Bye

Meanwhile......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: North Carolina

Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall. Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself unt il 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on- line. He had enough information to find her now.

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from walking ho me from the softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't be so overprotective.

By Thursday, Shannon h ad forgotten about the footsteps following her.

Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She glanced up from her second base position to see a man watching her closely.

He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.

Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only a few blocks to Shannon's home, and once he saw where she lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.

Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until the time came to go to Shannon' s house. He drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.

"Shannon, come here," her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.

"Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a most interesting story about you."

Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!

"Do you know who I am, Shannon?" the man asked.

"No," Shannon answered.

"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."

Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my age! He's 14. And he lives in Michigan!"

The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't true. You se e, Shannon, there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your ball team and the position you played. The number and name on your jersey just made finding you a breeze."

Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"

He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to think I was so far away, didn't it?"
She nodded.

"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there on-line. Before you know it, you hav e told them enough for them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again. Tell others about this so they will be safe too?"

"It's a promise!"

That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom all knelt down together and thanked God for protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.


Please send this to as many people as you can to teach them not to give any information about them
selves. This world we live in today is too dangerous to even give out your age, let alone anything else.



Mommy to Elayna 10-1-02 and Daniel (Ds) 6-7-05
Always have hope....Without rain, there can be no rainbows.


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PostPosted: October 06 2006, 1:39 PM    Post subject:
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Lisa, how scarry is that! Just thinking about how sick some poeple are makes me want to crawl into a hole and live there.

But I just wanted to say, we all have found a safe place here at Downsyn and Tom has made becoming a member a bit harder because they need to provide some info to become a member.
Also, please remember that the "Photo" section is private and you must be a member to you are safe there!

Thanks for this reminder Lisa!
Hugs to you all! The thought is very scarry!


Proud Parents Stephanie and Joe
Awesome Big Brother Joey 3/8/97
Beautiful Daughter Megan 11/8/03
Precious Lil' Livi 7/6/05
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Location: Niagara Falls, NY

PostPosted: October 06 2006, 1:44 PM    Post subject:
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Thanks for the post, I have seen this before. Thank goodness my kids arent old enough to chat online yet. But my niece is 17 and is very trusting. This post has reminded me to speak with my sister and have her monitor what she is doing online. My sister pays no attention to what my niece does online, but I think it is time for a wake up call.

Beth Mom to Cameron 2/26/2000, Kendall 6/25/2002 and My Lovely Kennedy 9/10/2003(DS)

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PostPosted: October 06 2006, 3:19 PM    Post subject:
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Thanks for the post ,Iwill read it to my two older children 8&10. Our computer is down stairs and I can wacth them. I was at my nieses birthday party a few monthes back and one of her freinds said she was going to meet someone she meet on My Space. She didn't and told her parents about it. . That is scary that someone could find out where she lives.

Carol mom to Adam 6/17/96 ,Emily 8/7/98, Abigail (DS)8/16/04
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PostPosted: October 06 2006, 9:05 PM    Post subject:
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Ok, this is frightening! I will be sending a copy of this to my mom! She pays no mind at all to my little sister when she's chatting away on the computer. My sister is 12! She's tall, blonde, and very sweet and trusting of people. Her screenname gives away her name, and city, and something else. I guess my mom needs a wake up call!

Proud momma of
Natalie Marie 6/8/03,
Tyler Slayton 4/15/05
Baby 3 EDD 1/3/07

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PostPosted: October 07 2006, 2:44 AM    Post subject:
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I got goosebumps reading that! Yes, we do all give out a lot of personal info in our posts at times, little things that we don't think could do any harm and we ALL need to be careful and teach our loved ones to do the same.
Thanks for the reminder.


David (12/12/05)DS
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PostPosted: October 07 2006, 8:40 AM    Post subject:
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We don't let our kids chat online but our 17 year old goes on several horse forums. She is careful because she knows how important it is not to give personal info out but I am going to show all 3 of them this post just in case. My kids put fake info in things that require profiles. THinking about it, I am probably the biggest security risk because I tend to trust everyone here and forget that it is publically available. Shocked

Mum to Nikki (19 Jul 89), Stefanie (3 Sep 96), Joel [18 June 98] and Talitha (DS) (18 Nov 05) AVSD/PDA repaired 23 March 06

"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14
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