A recent bust from a Florida Sheriff’s Office is prompting a warning for parents.

Sarasota Deputies arrested 21 men in a sting called “Operation Intercept Five.” The men are accused of soliciting young boys and girls for sex, many times using social media apps.

Authorities are urging parents to check your kids’ phones to see if they are using any of the apps.

Here’s what you can do to help protect your children:
•    Approve every app on your kid’s phone
•    Check privacy settings
•    Talk with your kids  about phone use, apps, and social media with your kids
•    Find out what is popular in your region, different apps catch on in different locations


Among the apps the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is warning against are:

  • BUMBLE is similar to the popular dating app “Tinder,”. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age.
  • LIVE.ME is a live-streaming video app that uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster’s exact location.
  • SNAPCHAT is one of the most popular apps of 2018. While the app promises users can take a photo/video and it will disappear. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
  • WHISPER is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user’s location so people can meet up.


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