Common Tricks of Predators
Bribe or Trick
The victim is offered something he or she might want. A young child might be offered candy, a toy, or gum. A teen might be offered money, free food, a ride, or trip to some place exciting. Sometimes a person will take a valued belonging and then offer to return it only if the victim goes with the person, or allows sexual contact.
The Animal Trick
The person is lured away from others by an invitation to play with or receive a gift of a puppy or kitten, or some other cute or unusual animal.
The Emergency Trick
A person pretends that a fire, accident, illness, death, or some other emergency has happened to the victim's family, home, or friend. The person then says there was a change in plans, and he/she was to pick them up because the prearranged ride was cancelled.
The Help Trick
Someone asks the child or teen for help. They may ask for directions, to use the phone, to carry heavy bags, or to search for someone or something lost, like a pet, child, or money.
The Friend Trick
A person pretends to know the family and says the child's parents have asked them to come and give the child a ride home.
The Bad Child Trick
A person accuses the child / teen of doing something wrong. The child / teen is ordered to go with the person. Sometimes a real-looking badge or ID is shown as fake proof of the predator's official status.
The Flattery Trick
Posing as a photographer, a person might ask the victim to go with them, so pictures or a video can be taken.
The Open the Door Trick
The person tricks the victim into opening the house door or car door. The person might look like a repair person, or says they need to use the phone, or deliver a package, or needs help or directions. Sometimes a minor car accident is staged to get the victim to pull the car over and open the car door.
The Secret Trick
Sometimes victims are warned to keep physical and sexual harassment or assault a secret. Often the victimization continues because the victim is afraid these threats might be true.
Children and teens have been lured into dangerous situations by people using computer online services to make contact. The communication usually start as a harmless exchange; then the predator asks for a face-to-face meeting, or the messages become increasingly sexual in content.
Please share these tips with your family and friends. These tips and other safety information are available from the following organizations:
Jacob Wetterling Foundation - (800) 325-HOPE
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - (800) THE-LOST
Temptation - Opportunity and Crime
Legal doctrine makes a clear distinction between crimes that are “premeditated” and those that happen without significant forethought or planning. In general terms, premeditated crimes (e.g., murder, bank robbery, etc.) are typically:
- More serious and destructive in nature
- Receive more significant punishments
- Occur much less frequently than those that are not as thoroughly planned
Police officers observe this same distinction in the behavior of many criminals, particularly those who commit the crimes of theft and burglary. In fact, it is very often true that many crimes of theft and burglary occur because the “potential” criminal is presented with the temptation and opportunity to commit a criminal act. Therefore, if we can remove the temptation and the opportunity, there is a high probability that we can eliminate or drastically reduce the possibility of the crime being committed.
All year long, there are thefts from parked automobiles and open/unsecured garages. These crimes are often motivated by the temptation of seeing objects of value in plain view and the opportunity to take the objects with relatively low risk of being seen and/or apprehended.
What You Can Do
The Stanley Police Department suggests that you take the following action(s) to reduce your chance of being a victim of an opportunistic thief:
- Don’t leave objects of value in plain view. Consider covering open windows in garages. Place valuables in car trunk before you reach your destination (thieves may be watching).
- Lock car doors when you are away. Close garage doors and lock them.
- Provide extra security for particularly vulnerable targets (e.g., bicycles, power tools, etc.) inside the garage.
- Alert police to suspicious people loitering.
- Record serial numbers of purchased items to aid in their recovery, in the event that they are stolen.
Remember, don’t do anything to make it easier for you to be victimized. Don’t provide a thief with either temptation or opportunity.
Safety Tips for Children
As soon as a child is old enough to articulate a sentence, he or she can begin the process of learning how to protect themselves against abduction and exploitation. Children should be taught the following safety measures and tips.
Who I Am & Where I Live
Teach children about who they are including their full name, birthdate, complete address, phone number (including area code), and their parents' full names.
What I Do If I Can't Find My Parents
If you are in a public place and you get separated from your parents, don't wander around looking for them. Go to a checkout counter, the security office, or the lost and found. Tell the person in charge that you have lost your mom and dad and need help in finding them.
Always check with your parents, teacher, or baby-sitter before getting into a car or going anywhere with any person. Check first before going into a neighbor's house. Check first before going anywhere. Your parents need to know where you are.
Use the Buddy System
It's more fun and there is safety in numbers. You should not be wandering around the neighborhood after dark or alone.
If someone follows you on foot or in a car, stay away from him or her. You shouldn't go near the car to talk to the people inside.
Don't Assist Adults
No one should be asking you for directions or to look for a lost puppy or to ask for assistance. Adults should ask adults, not children.
Run, Scream, Get Away
If someone tries to take you away, your best defenses are your legs and your voice. Yell "This person is trying to take me!" or "This is not my father (or mother)!" Try to run and scream before they get too close. Call 9-1-1 from any phone. It's a free call, you don't need money.
Never hitch or try to get a ride home with anyone unless you have checked and your parents have told you it's OK to ride with that person.
Don't Keep Secrets
Don't keep secrets that make you feel uncomfortable. No one should ask you to keep a special secret. Tell an adult that you trust.
Your Body Is Special & Private
No one should touch you in ways or places that make you scared or uncomfortable, nor should you touch anyone else in those areas.
Know That You Are Special
If you have a problem, any kind of a problem, you can talk to your parents, a teacher, a counselor, your principal, a police officer or a friend of the family.
You Can Call 9-1-1
If you have an emergency, or in a situation where you feel you are in danger, call 9-1-1. You will get help.
Cyber Safety for Kids Online
The Internet has opened up a world of information for anyone with a computer and a connection. Even if you don't have one at home, your children will learn about computers and have access to them at school, at the library, or at a friend's house. Just as you would not send children near a busy road without some safety rules, you shouldn't send them onto the information superhighway without rules of the road. Too many dangers, from pedophiles and con artists, can reach children (and adults) through the Internet.
- Explain that although a person may be alone in a room using the computer, once logged on to the Internet, he or she is no longer alone. People skilled in using the Internet can find out who you are and where you are. They can even tap into information in your computer.
- Set aside time to explore the Internet together. If your child has some computer experience, let him or her take the lead. Visit areas of the Internet that have special sites for children.
- The best tool a child has for screening material found on the Internet is his or her brain. Teach children the dangers of exploitation, pornography, hate literature, excessive violence, and other issues that concern you, so they know how to respond when they see this material.
- Choose a commercial online service that offers parental control features. These features can block contact that is not clearly marked as appropriate for children, such as chat rooms, bulletin boards, news groups, and discussion groups, or access to the Internet entirely.
- Purchase blocking software and design your own safety system. Different packages can block sites by name, search for unacceptable words and block access to sites containing those words, block entire categories of material, and prevent children from giving out personal information.
- Monitor your children and the time they spend online. If a child becomes uneasy or defensive when you walk into the room or when you linger, this could be a sign he or she is up to something unusual or even forbidden.
Tell Your Children
- To always let you know immediately if they find something scary or threatening on the Internet
- Never to give out their name, address, telephone number, password, school name, parents' name, or any other personal information
- Never agree to meet face to face with someone they've met online
- Never respond to messages that have bad words or seem scary or weird
- Never enter an area that charges for services without asking you first
- Never send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission
These tips are brought to you by the National Crime Prevention Council.
College Student Safety Guide
For information and resources as it relates to online and campus college security, please click here to be directed to a student safety guide. This website has information as it pertains to: campus crime, The Cleary Act, college safety tips, safety apps and other additional resources.