New Jersey authorities are warning the public after the arrests of two dozen alleged predators, who they said used the Internet to solicit minors for sex.
This week, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the arrests of 24 men—including a police sergeant—who allegedly used the Internet to speak with police, masquerading themselves as 14 and 15-year-old boys and girls. According to NJ.com, authorities stated that some of the men were communicating with minors through video games, including Fortnite and Minecraft.
“It is a frightening reality that sexual predators are lurking on social media, ready to strike if they find a child who is vulnerable,” Grewal said.
Investigators said some of the suspects posed as teenagers, with Grewal noting that most of them used multiple apps to target children. He also mentioned that many games have some sort of in-game chat feature.
State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said Tuesday, “These arrests serve as a sobering reminder that parents should closely monitor their child’s online activity,”
The news of the arrests comes as Epic Games, the company that creates Fortnite, pulled ads of the game from YouTube amid concerns that they were being placed on videos accused predators were using to exploit children, according to The Verge.
“We have paused all pre-roll advertising,” a company spokesperson told the outlet. “Through our advertising agency, we have reached out to Google/YouTube to determine actions they’ll take to eliminate this type of content from their service.”
[Featured Image: Fortnite YouTube video screengrab]