MIDDLEBURY — The leader of the Addison County Unit for Special Investigations is warning area teens and parents to be on guard for some unsavory side effects of a growing list of social media apps, some of which are leading to teens receiving unsolicited pornographic spam and sexual propositions from strangers.
Det. Sgt. Ruth Whitney of the Unit for Special Investigations reported a concerning trend of teens receiving these unwanted advances through smart phone and iPod applications like “Kik.” Kik is an instant messaging system that uses a smart phone’s data plan or an iPod’s WiFi capability to transmit and receive messages. It also allow users to share photos, sketches, mobile Web pages and other content.
The application is recommended for those aged 17 and up, but anyone can download it.
Whitney said she recently became aware of three young girls in the Addison County area who had received random obscene photos through Kik messaging. They all insisted they did not know the person who had sent the photos. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is also investigating a case involving an older man from the New Jersey area who allegedly attempted to lure a Middlebury-area girl, said Whitney, who added she is not able to share specific details of cases that are still under investigation.
“It is difficult to trace where (the messages) are coming from,” Whitney said. “Anyone who has the Kik application can send photos. Read more…