When British mother Kelly Carberry suspected her 13-year-old daughter was being groomed by an online pedophile, she took matters into her own hands.
According to the Daily Mail, Carberry checked her daughter’s Facebook profile for the first time and didn’t like what she saw. When a message from an unknown name popped up, Carberry knew something was off.
She decided to investigate further, posing as her own daughter, Chloe-Marie, to get to the bottom of it all.David Goehring/Flickr
The alleged pedophile, who posed as a woman on Facebook, carried on speaking with Carberry as though she was her young daughter. He asked if the girl was alone and told her to “go in the room and shut [her] door.” According to the Daily Mail, he wrote:
“Do you promise to keep your mouth closed about what is said on here, staying in here only and you cannot tell anyone else okay?”
He instructed her to say crude things, like “hi master” and “I’ve been a very bad girl.”
At that point, Carberry had had enough. She furiously responded:
“Oh my god you dirty little paedophile it’s her mother what the f**k do u think your [sic] doing with all these young girls on your Facebook…”
Carberry was immensely shaken up by the ease with which sexual predators had to access her unsuspecting child. She took to the web to warn other mothers.
She began receiving messages from other concerned mothers and realized that her daughter was not the predator’s only prey. One mom told Carberry that she had reached out to the police weeks ago and that they hadn’t acted on it.
The mom sent Carberry images of the conversation in which her daughter said, “I’ve got to go to school now.” His response was, “no you don’t, sit down.”
Carberry reported that the purported predator’s “about” section reads:
“I am Jess, a 31-year-old transgender female and I only speak to girls.”
She believes that perhaps her daughter added the stranger on accident, mistaking him for her friend also named “Jess.”
Carberry has the name and profile of the man and has blasted his face all across social media. In addition, a spokesperson from the Lancashire Police has confirmed that the department is investigating the situation.
However, Carberry, who already believed she was being cautious when it came to social media, said:
“I’m going to have to keep everything checked on social media from now on. It’s just what I have got to do as a parent to make sure they’re safe but it’s a difficult thing when she’s 13.”
SafeKids.com created a list of rules parents should share with their children. The page creates a pledge that kids need to agree to before they’re allowed to roam on the internet. Specific rules include:
- I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number without my parents’ permission.
- I will tell my parents right away if I come across something that makes me feel uncomfortable.
- I will never agree to get together with someone I “meet” online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring a parent along.
- I will talk with my parents about posting pictures of myself or others online and not post any pictures that my parents consider to be inappropriate.
- I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away.
In addition, Google has launched an online curriculum on internet safety called “Be Internet Awesome.” There are courses for parents, teachers, and students that are specifically geared toward the marketed audience. Its goal is to:
[Provide] materials educators and parents can use to help students learn about online safety in a fun and engaging way.
Remain in conversation with your child. Befriend them on social media accounts, and be vigilant if you suspect any suspicious activity.