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More and more predators getting to kids through internet, detectives say

Internet sex crime detective warns, teaches Central Florida parents

ORLANDO, Fla. – Internet Sex Crimes Detective Lori Fiorino, of the Orlando Police Department, says she's in high demand these days.

Ever since she first appeared on News 6's Getting Crime Results segment two years ago and again this year, warning parents about how many sexual predators are reaching children online, parents from across Central Florida have asked her to speak to them.

Fiorino has been invited to speak at schools, churches, conferences, expos and parent group meetings.

Last week, Fiorino was a guest speaker at the University of Central Florida's Cybersecurity Expo.

[RELATED: How to keep teens safe while they're onlineIs your teen ignoring your calls or texts? Dad's genius app will fix that problem]

She told dozens of parents in the audience that predators contact her all day, every day, thinking they're actually communicating with a child.

"Every day," Fiorino said. "I go online as a kid every day. And it's just very easy."

Fiorino was the Police Department's first full-time internet sex crimes detective to spend her days and nights online, posing as a child.

She has arrested countless deviants from around the country and in Central Florida who were trying to coerce children into running away with them and performing sex acts or creating child pornography.

The contact always stems from online interactions: social media, messaging apps and even games with online access, according to Fiorino.

"A kid should never be going to bed with his device at night, ever," Fiorino said. "You teach your kids, 'don't talk to strangers,' right?  But then you leave them with a device at night that gives them access to strangers all around the world."

Fiorino said any parent of a child with internet access, especially on a phone, needs to know what his or her child is doing.

"Don't frighten them. Listen attentively to them. Tell them that if a predator contacts them online, these are the things you want to do," Fiorino said. "And then, to teach them to be safe, just like you say, 'If somebody touches you, and you're in school, go tell a teacher,' go tell an adult. Help them."

Fiorino provided her email address, loriana.fiorino@cityoforlando.net, if you'd like to contact her. 

She also listed the following links to help you monitor your child's online activities and learn how to talk to your child about predators online:

MissingKids.org

NetSmartzKids.org

Nsteens.org

Fbi.gov


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