Live 5 Investigates: Predators using Kik messenger phone app to lure kids

Live 5 Investigates: Predators using Kik messenger phone app to lure kids

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Live 5 News investigation shows predators are turning to a popular phone app to try to lure children.

More than 90 million people use the phone app Kik messenger every day.

Most of them are kids.

however, police say Kik is also a favorite place for predators.

Jennifer Sanders has seen it for herself.

The Berkeley County mom believes it was a pedophile who contacted her friend's daughter on Kik last month.

"As soon as she got home someone started to message her. He proceeded to ask for nude photos and she wouldn't comply," Sanders said.

Sanders says the person who sent the message probably used a fake name and fake picture.

"He changed his picture, so the new picture that he has up on his Kik messenger is completely different, a completely different person," she said. "After he realized she wouldn't comply, he brought my daughter's name into it and threatened her and the friend, and said he was going to do bad things to them. He gave the friend three different time limits."

Charleston Police Detective Doug Galluccio is convinced the person who messaged the girl is a predator.

Galluccio is a member of the state's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

"They move from kid to kid, to kid. If they don't get what they want from one particular kid, they'll move on to the next one," Galluccio said.

Sanders says her daughter's friend took the Kik app off her phone, but this mom is still frightened.

"It's scary that I lock my doors at night and I basically stand by my daughter's door, guarding to make sure she's fine," Sanders said.

She's a mom with a message for other parents.

"Predators are lurking, ready to attack your children, so go through your children's phones and make sure that this app is not there."

Galluccio says he is investigating five cases of predators trying to contact children on Kik messenger here in Charleston. He believes one of the suspects lives in the Charleston area.

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