SOUTH CAROLINA (WTOC) - A big bust in South Carolina last week put more than a dozen suspected sexual predators behind bars. In this case, all of them thought they were chatting with a 13-year-old girl.
The suspects arranged to meet up at what they thought was the teen's home for sex, but were instead greeted by law enforcement who say these kinds of predators are constantly on the prowl.
"You are talking to this person online and they are like oh yeah I'm 15," says Senior Investigator Melissa Perry with the RCSD. "You don't know that. You don't know if they are a 30-50-year-old person."
And while these men will learn their lesson behind bars, investigators say there is also a lesson to be learned for parents and kids.
"All these new gaming things have a chat feature in them and you can find people all over the world that will chat with you," Perry says. "I tell them if you don't know them in real life, you don't talk to them."
Here's some other advice: Tell your kids why it's so important not to disclose personal information online. Monitor your children's use of the Internet; keep your Internet computer in an open room.
Check your kids' profiles and what they post. Ask them about who they communicate with. Make it a rule that the can never meet anyone in person without your knowledge and consent.