A boy named “Jonathan” who is 12-years old and from Virginia has been chatting with “Tony” who says he is 12-years old. Over the months they have built up a great ‘online’ friendship, playing online games, checking out the NASCAR website and continuing with their friendly rivalry over Chevrolets and Fords and just talking about ‘guy’ stuff. Tony tells Jonathan that his family is coming to Williamsburg, Virginia for a vacation. “Wouldn’t it be cool if I called you when we got there? Maybe your parents could drive you out to Williamsburg!” Jonathan thought it was a great idea and gave Tony his home phone number. It would be so cool to meet Tony in person!
This is a case of an adult posing as a child. Tony is not a 12-year-old boy. Tony is really a 54-year-old man who was ‘grooming’ Jonathan in hopes to find him, befriend him, and ultimately have an inappropriate relationship with him. Here is how this child predator found Jonathan:
1. Anyone can go online to Google and search for “reverse lookup.” There are hundreds of sites where you can find, for FREE, the address attached to a phone number. Even unlisted numbers are available.
2. When searching for a phone number, it is easy to come up with a name. Additional links for more public records are readily accessed as well as personal information about the child’s family. The possibilities are endless on information that can be gathered from a mere phone number.
3. Once the address is located, it is just a click of the mouse to get driving directions from anywhere in North America, a detailed map of the area, and ‘helps’ to find schools, malls, movies, and other ‘hang outs’ for kids. Software such as Net Detective aids pedophiles further in finding their next victim. You can see how something as simple as providing a phone number, last name, town/city, or school name can lead a predator to search and find your child.