FBI Pittsburgh warns of online predators targeting children on social media

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh FBI is warning parents to be aware of Internet predators targeting children.

These organizations have one goal: to force young victims to commit dangerous and deadly acts.

FBI Special Agent Christopher Giordano It’s easy to be shocked or disturbed by criminal behavior, but the activities of a particular group of online predators targeting children is another story.

“This is an extremely disturbing topic,” he said. “In fact, in my 20 years in law enforcement, this is probably the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen.”

Giordano is talking about a group of online predators.

“Ultimately, pure chaos and the death of the people they were targeting,” Giordano said.

One group identified as 764 is a disorganized group of predators who target the most vulnerable children online.

“People who are ostracized by their peers may be socially awkward and may not conform to social norms,” ​​Giordano said.

The FBI said the suspects used classic grooming techniques to abuse children. The victims are usually, but not exclusively, girls.

“They started grooming them,” Giordano said. “They made them feel welcome, told them how beautiful they were and asked them to take pictures.”

Once a predator obtains these, often explicit, photos, they go from being an online girlfriend or boyfriend to a malicious manipulator with nefarious goals.

“Whether it was harming herself, harming an animal, harming her family or ultimately committing suicide,” Giordano said.

Most predators are men in their 30s or 40s, but some are teenagers.

The FBI says it is working to catch suspected predators and has had some success. However, according to the FBI, the greatest protection comes not from the government but from the child’s guardian.

“We need parents to pay attention to what their children are doing online, playing games, interacting, using social media platforms,” ​​Giordano said.

“We’re going to lose too many children because of this,” he added.

While the FBI would not comment on any exact numbers, authorities said multiple investigations are underway in western Pennsylvania to address the situation. So far, no victims have harmed themselves or anyone else in any way.

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