A 28-year-old Victoria man is facing 13 charges after attempting to lure underage girls online.
Victoria Police Special Victims Unit (SVU) detectives have so far confirmed five victims, whose ages range from 12 to 17 years of age. None of the victims were physically harmed. Detectives are also looking at the possibility of more victims that have not yet come forward.
The man has been charged with three counts of child luring under the age of 14, two counts of luring under the age of 18, four counts of communicating/obtaining sexual services of a person under 18, two counts of uttering threats and three counts of breaching probation.
Three of the charges are due to the suspect breaking his probation conditions, which prohibited him from contacting young girls online.
The 28-year-old suspect has been taken into custody.
This incident, detectives said, is a good reminder to parents and teens about what it takes to be careful online especially when it comes to geolocation settings for online photos and social media sites.
“When you post online, it’s important to know who can see information about you,” SVU Det. Sgt. Kristi Ross said.
“That doesn’t just include what you say or photos you share. You need to check the location settings on your devices to ensure you know when and where you’re posting your geolocation information. The best thing to do is to turn it off by default. ”
Officers point to cybertip.ca as a strong resource for parents to help inform their children about how to stay safe online.