Cyber predators are on an ever-changing hunt. They know they're only as successful as their last deception. The latest looks like a game.
"If parents could see what we see on a daily basis, they would be shocked," said Christopher Heaverin of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
He is a cyber detective who knows it's not just the blatantly sexual games used to lure children to predators. It's also Xbox and Playstation, anything that allows conversation without seeing a face.
"You can actually start chatting with people through a normal game. There's no more, you have to create fake games to get a kid to talk to them, because now there are combat games and cyber games," he said.
After predators establish trust within a chat, they ask for naked photos or videos. Even after the child finds out they're really talking to an adult, it's often hard for the children to say no.
"The kid already knows if they show their parents, he's gonna get his Xbox, he's going to get his Playstation 3 taken away. A lot of them don't want that, so they will actually give more photos instead of more punishment. Even though they don't want that," Heaverin said.
It's a ploy that works so well, there are how-to videos online -- step-by-step manuals to help tell other pedophiles how to set up games that girls will fall for.
The advice to parents is to know what your child is doing on the internet all the time.
And be sure your child doesn't fear a punishment from you more than telling the truth about an online predator.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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