And now to a topic which causes most of us great concern. Our children and grandchildren make full use of the internet and M.S.N. chat rooms, and we all make sure that safety features are enabled. But here’s a warning to us all to be vigilant. The following is an actual transcript of a conversation between a child and an unknown “friend” in the UK:
After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and get on-line. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:
ByAngel213 Hi. I’m glad you are on! How’s school?
GoTo123:  Horrible. I want to take Friday off so I can go on a trip to Manchester but my Dad won’t let me. It’s too far from here to go on Saturday. Who’s your team?
ByAngel213:   Sheffield United.
GoTo123:  Do you have to travel far if you want to see them?
ByAngel213:   No, it’s just down the road.
GoTo123:  You’re dead lucky. Have you ever been to a match?
ByAngel213:   No, my Dad says I have to wait until I’m thirteen. It’s not long though. I’m having a party in three weeks. We’re going to the Metrodome in Barnsley then back by train after Macdonald’s.
GoTo123: Do you play sport?
ByAngel213 Yes I’m on the netball team.
GoTo123:   What colour is your school uniform?
ByAngel213: It’s yucky, maroon and yellow. I hate it cos I’ve got red hair.
GoTo123:  That’s gross.
ByAngel213:I know. I’ve got to go now. I haven’t done my homework yet.
GoTo123:  Can’t you do it later?
ByAngel213:   No, Mum and Dad are both home at six thirty and I get into trouble if it’s not done by then.
GoTo123: Ok catch you tomorrow.

Meanwhile…….GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far.
Her name:
Birthday: October. 3, 1995
Age: 12
Town where she lived: Sheffield, near the ground of Sheffield Wednesday.
Hobbies: netball, and going to the Metrodome and MacDonald’s.
Besides this information, he knew she was home alone until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played netball, and also what her school colours were, therefore he would be able to identify her school easily.
 Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard voices in the living room.
 ’Shannon, come here,’ her father called. He sounded upset
and she couldn’t imagine why. She went into the room to see a man sitting on the sofa.
‘Sit down love,’ her father began, ‘this man has just told us a most interesting story about you.’
Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything? She had never seen him before today!
“Do you know who I am, Shannon?” the man asked.
“No,” Shannon answered.
“I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123.”
Shannon was stunned. “That’s impossible! GoTo is a kid from Penzance, and he’s thirteen.” The man smiled.
“I know I told you all that, but it wasn’t true. You see, Shannon, there are people on-line who pretend to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who do it to protect kids from predators.
“I came here to find you to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to
people on-line. You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. You gave the name of your football team and said how close the ground was to your house.
“You gave the school uniform colours, and told me you were home alone until 6.30 every evening until your parents came home from work.”
Shannon was stunned.
The man said, “I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn’t as lucky. The man found her and tried to abduct her.
“Kids are taught never to give information away or let on that they’re home alone, yet they do it all the time on-line.
“The wrong people trick you into giving out information a little here and there. Before you know it, you have told them enough for
them to find you without even realizing you have done it. I hope you’ve learned a lesson from this and won’t do it again. Tell others about this so they will be safe too.”
Kids are easily tricked by manipulative paedophiles, and any information can be useful to them. The fact that they say they live far away gives the children a sense of security, but the truth is, you can never be sure who you are talking to in a chat room.
Even adults can be tricked, and then burgled if they give away too much information.
The Internet is a wonderful thing, but we must all be aware of the dangers too. Identity theft is rife, and emails which ask for any details of your account should be reported. NEVER EVER give pin numbers, or the code on the back of a credit card, even if you think the email, or even a phone call, comes from your own bank. They NEVER EVER ask for these details, it’s always a fraud.
Source: The Paper