Attorney General's Office shows kids the dangers of Internet predators

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- An estimated half million child predators are surfing the Internet at any given time and that means your child could be at risk.

What we found out really made all of us sick.

In last night's 3 On Your Side report, we showed you how quickly a child can be targeted by an Internet predator.

We posed as a 13-year-old girl and within seconds, grown men were posting nude pictures of themselves and asking us lewd questions.

Now, we'll show you what is being done to get the message across to kids that "the Internet is dangerous."

Fourteen-year-old Eduardo Trujillo spends a lot of time online, but when it comes to his personal profile, which describes himself to others, he's less than truthful about his age.

"It says I'm a male, 20 years old, and I live in Phoenix and I am a male, but I'm actually 14 years old," he said.

Fourteen is a far cry from being 20 years old and as easy as it was for Eduardo to fabricate an age it's just as easy for predators to make themselves appear as kids.

"You can lie easy on the Internet and say you're like a 14-year-old when you're like a 63-year-old guy," Eduardo said.

And for that very reason Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is trying to alert kids that surfing the Internet comes with dangers.

"Many of the tragic stories that we've found have been because the parents were totally unaware of what their teenager was doing online," Goddard said.

To educate kids, Goddard's office is partnering up with Valley schools and conducting kind of a sting operation in hopes of showing children just how vulnerable they really are.

Goddard and his agents try to illustrate to kids that some of the people they're talking to online are not who they say they are.

Agents give a guy by the name of Danny as an example. Agents say Danny has apparently been surfing the Internet looking to chat.

"He says, 'I like poetry, plants, flowers and my perfect night would be cuddling by the fireplace," an agent said.

But in reality, Danny is not his name and he is a convicted sex offender. He's a level 3, which is the highest you can go as far as a sex offender, and his offense is luring a minor for sexual exploitation.

During the presentation, Goddard and his agents spring more news on the kids, informing them some students in the audience who thought they were communicating with other children over the past few weeks were actually communicating with agents who were posing as children.

For Eduardo and others, the dangers that come from the Internet finally sink in.

"It scared me to think that someone could do that to me or to one of my friends or someone I care about," Eduardo said. "Everyone needs to know this because it can easily happen to them or to anyone they know."

Sit down and talk to your kids about using the Internet and how they could become victimized if they're not careful.

There is a list of tips I want you to review. Those tips can be found by .