CRIME

Davis County Sheriff’s Office works to warn the public of the dangers of social media

Dec 30, 2023, 5:08 PM | Updated: 5:27 pm

FARMINGTON — There are plenty of benefits to social media, such as staying in touch with friends, sharing pictures, and joining like-minded groups.

However, there is a negative side that law enforcement often sees.

“Just being on these social media apps, they are sitting ducks for these predators,” said Stephanie Dinsmore, the public information officer for the Davis County Sheriff’s Office.

Dinsmore is concerned with how often children are targeted by predators.

Detectives, with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, arrested two people Friday, who they say came to the area from out of state to have sex with children, they first met on social media.

It’s an ongoing problem that has grown throughout the past year, according to Dinsmore. She says the Sheriff’s Office has made 12 arrests in these types of cases during the past year.

Detectives, with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, arrested two people Friday, who they say came to the area from out of state to have sex with children, they first met on social media. (Mark Less, KSL TV)

“These cases are increasing and sextortion cases have been on the rise, especially in 2023,” said Dinsmore.

Sextortion is when adults pose as teenagers and get victims to share sexually explicit images, then blackmail the victims for money, more photos, or even sexual favors.

“This is happening every single day whether parents want to recognize it or not,” Dinsmore said. “So, avoiding these conversations isn’t helping your family. You need to have these conversations and they’re difficult, but you need to make sure you are allowing yourself to have honest and open conversations with your kids so they feel comfortable coming to you when mistakes happen.”

According to the FBI, these cases are increasing across the country and a lot of it begins on social media apps.

“One tactic that a lot of predators like to use is they will friend someone on Facebook and they are very crafty,” Dinsmore said. “They will have already friended several of this individuals friends, so when this individual is logging into the app and they see, ‘oh, I am friends with many mutual friends of this individual, it has to be another teen.'”

(Mark Less, KSL TV)

Raising awareness of this issue is going to be an even bigger priority for the Sheriff’s Office in 2024.

Detectives will be hosting internet and social media safety classes for adults and their children who 12 years old and older.

“We are very fortunate we have very experienced detectives who have worked these kids of cases for decades,” Dinsmore said. “These are the same detectives teaching the course. We are proud of them and we’re going to continue this mission.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Crime

A man and young girl were injured following a motorcycle accident on Tuesday....

Eliza Pace

19-year-old man arrested in connection to Salt Lake City homicide

A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of shooting and killing 30-year-old Nico Christopher Patino in May.

3 hours ago

Police arresting the suspect in a double homicide in St. George on June 19, 2024....

Josh Ellis

Two people shot, killed in southern Utah home; suspect taken into custody

Police say two people were shot and killed and officers issued a shelter-in-place order as they search for a suspect who is considered armed and dangerous.

10 hours ago

The Olympic rings at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. The Salt Lake Cit...

Amy Simonson and Eric Levenson, CNN

Woman accuses former Olympic swim coach of sexually abusing her as a teen and USA Swimming of failing to stop it

A former high-level swimmer accused her Hall of Fame coach of sexually abusing her about 15 years ago when she was a minor and alleged USA Swimming and other organizations and individuals knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it, according to a federal lawsuit.

17 hours ago

The reported stolen Toyota Sequoia found in a ditch on I-84 in Box Elder County....

Michael Houck

Suspect of a stolen car found dead after a rollover crash in Box Elder County

A man suspected of stealing a car was found dead after it was found rolled over in a ditch, police say.

21 hours ago

red and blue lights above a yellow band of lights...

Michael Houck and Shara Park, KSL TV

One juvenile in custody for allegedly stabbing three people on Central Pointe TRAX platform

A juvenile is in police custody after they allegedly stabbed three people on a South Salt Lake TRAX platform.

23 hours ago

Quavo and Vice President Kamala Harris appear on stage at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia on ...

Lisa Respers France and Ebony Davis, CNN

Quavo hosts an anti-gun violence summit with VP Kamala Harris on late nephew Takeoff’s birthday

On Tuesday, which would have been Takeoff’s 30th birthday, Quavo co-hosted the firstRocket Foundation Summit in collaboration with US Vice President Kamala Harris and the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Davis County Sheriff’s Office works to warn the public of the dangers of social media