(Olive Branch, MS) Some parents have recently found their daughters using an anonymous chat website, leading to conversations they fear are targeting the girls for pornography.
Kevin and Lesley Constantino recently found out their 13-year-old daughter and her 12-year-old friend had both been on the site.
Strangers had asked the girls for their phone numbers and asked for dirty pictures. Their conversations ranged from talking about illegal drugs to sex.
The homepage of Omegle advertises “talking with strangers.” Because it is anonymous, the site does not screen for a user’s age.
However, this is part of their disclaimer: “use Omegle at your own peril. Disconnect if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable. Omegle is not provided with any warranty, express or implied, and the owner of Omegle does not accept liability or responsibility for any loss or damage of any kind arising directly or indirectly from the use of Omegle.”
They also warn those under 13 not to use the site, and they tell those under 18 to seek their parents’ permission first.
As soon as Kevin Constantino heard about strangers talking to his daughter, he went to the website. To investigate, he signed on pretending to be his daughter. Soon, a stranger, claiming to be 17, began typing.
One of the conversations went like this:
“He went, ‘horny?’ I’m like, ‘huh? Excuse me?’ ‘How big are your boobs?’ I’m like, ‘why’? Then kik and Skype came up again,” Constantino said.
Kik and Skype are ways the stranger can see the girl through pictures or video.
“I was p—d, and I was angered, knowing that there’s people like this that can attack any child,” he said.
His wife, Lesley, said she was afraid of what could happen if the strangers asked to meet in person.
“These guys saying we could meet you somewhere, and they meet up and either take them off and rape them, or kidnap them,” she said.
Another parent told News Channel 3 a stranger asked for her daughter’s phone number. He then began texting her with sexually explicit conversations.
The parents reported the site to the Olive Branch Police Department. Police told News Channel 3 they have a special task force designed to investigate internet crime, especially when it involves adults soliciting minors.
They are investigating Omegle, along with other sites. So far, there has not been any complaint of a specific crime related to Omegle.
The Constantinos said they would like to warn other parents to keep a closer watch on how their children use the Internet and other technology.
Lesley Constantino said, “We need to start monitoring what she does a lot more carefully, and she needs to start thinking a little bit wiser.”