Online predators target children forced to communicate virtually during Michigan stay-at-home order

Children spending more time online due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

DETROIT – Our children are spending more time online doing school work, connecting with family and friends and simply having fun, and unfortunately, parents are not the only ones who know that. Federal investigators say online predators know that too.

UPDATE -- April 29, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 40,399; Death toll now at 3,670

“We’re all missing our relationships that we have. Predators are aware of that, and they’re more than happy to fill that void,” said Dave Alley, special agent for Homeland Security Investigations.

Alley, who works in the child exploitation unit for Homeland Security said education is the best step to protect our children from predators. That’s why Homeland Security Investigations has put together a video to teach parents how to spot a problem with their children and internet predators while at home.

He said the video focuses on what predators do to try to convince children to speak with them, to try to convince children they are their friends and to try to intimidate children.

Alley said they also go over popular apps that are used by children because those are often what predators target.

READ: How one of Michigan’s largest nonprofits is continuing to serve amid coronavirus crisis

"The predators will flock to what is popular with children," Alley said.

About the Authors: