GWINNETT County, Ga. (CBS46) — A Gwinnett County mother wants an investigation opened after she says a man targeted her child on Snapchat, requesting to be her ‘sugar daddy.’
Teresa asked CBS46 News not to share her full name but she wants to share the full story.
This weekend, the mother found out about messages sent to her 10-year-old on the app. The mom says she realizes many will consider that too young of an age to have an account but considering the pandemic and remote learning, kids at her child’s school began relying on it to talk with each other.
“Somebody trying to lure a child with money to perform sexual acts,” she explained. “You can tell by the way it’s worded that wasn’t another kid playing a joke or anything like that. It is grown man talk.”
Screenshots of the messages show the user wrote things like “I’m looking for a sugar baby and I’m ready to spoil you and pay you allowance.” Adding, “you just have to keep me busy and make me happy.” The user claims they will offer $3500 weekly.
Since her Snapchat account has her name and birth date attached, Teresa’s daughter first assumed the new user added her because it was someone she knew from campus. But the family says that was not the case.
Now they want Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office to investigate what they believe was a targeted attempt at trafficking a child.
“She could have easily fell victim. Any kid could look at that and see the dollar signs and say ‘hey!’.
Thank God my daughter doesn’t think like that.”
Teresa is encouraging parents to check their child’s phone. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation encourages it too.
“I always recommend if your child has a snapchat, I believe you should have Snapchat,” Debbie Garner told CBS46 in a recent interview. “Then follow your child on it and know how it works.”
Garner is the GBI’s Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. The agency confirmed with more predators at home and online this past year, child exploitation tips exceeded 11,000. The taskforce was able to arrest more than 300 cyber suspects as a result.
“This is happening everyday right in front of us and we don’t even know it,” Teresa added.
Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office released the following:
“She talked to one of our officers via phone and based on the information she gave him it was determined that the account was part of a larger scam that builds trust and then asks the victim’s for money. The officer gave her some tips on internet safety and advised her on what apps are safe for a child that age to use and how to closely monitor her activity. The officer made some notes on the interaction but said that the caller did not request a report.”
The mother, Teresa tells CBS46 she feels that statement from the police department is an inaccurate description of what happened. She claims she was discouraged from filing a report.
Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office also encourages the community to report these types of incident to their direct hotline: “Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office Trafficking and Child Exploitation Unit is a great resource especially for situations of this nature.
The “Submit a Tip” phone number for our TRACE Unit is 770-619-6405,” spokesperson told CBS46 News.