Parents Warned About 15 Apps After Rape Of 10-Year-Old Girl

Sheriff says Florida man met his victim on SnapChat

WWJ News
October 16, 2019 - 2:39 pm
15 apps to be aware of

(Photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)

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(WWJ) Authorities are urging parents to keep a close eye on their children's social media following a shocking crime in Florida.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office this week posted a list of 15 apps that predators have been known to use to target, entice and harm kids. 

"Over the weekend a 22-year-old man was arrested for enticing a 10-year-old girl out of her house and brought her back to Pasco County," the sheriff's office said. "It's important to know what your kids are doing online and we want to help keep parents informed!"

School Resources Officers say all parents should be aware of the following popular apps:

  • Snapchat: It's one of the most popular apps of 2018. While the app promises users can send a photo or video and it will disappear, recent features allow users to view content for up to 24 hours. Snapchat also allows users to see your location.
  • Bumble: It's similar to the popular dating app, Tinder, however, it requires women to make the first contact. Kids have been known to use Bumble to create fake accounts and falsify their age. 
  • Kik: This app allows anyone to contact and direct message your child, sometimes anonymously. Kids sometimes use Kik to bypass traditional text messaging features. Kik gives users unlimited access to anyone, anywhere, anytime. 
  • Calculator%: This is one of several secret apps used to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history. 
  • Hot or Not: This app encourages users to rate other users' profiles, with the focus on physical appearance. It also allows users to check out people in their area and chat with strangers. The sheriff says the goal of this app is to "hook up." 
  • Tiktok: It's a new app popular with kids that's used for creating and sharing short videos. With very limited privacy controls, users are vulnerable ot cyber bullying and explicit content.
  • Whatsapp: This is a popular messaging app that allows users to send texts, photos, voicemails, as well as make calls and video chats.
  • Grindr: This dating app is geared toward gay, bi and transgender people. It gives users options to chat, share photos and meet up based on a smart phone's GPS.
  • Skout: It's a location-based dating app. While users under 17 years old are unable to share private photos, kids can easily create an account with an older age.
  • Meetme: It's a dating social media app that allows users to connect with people based on geographic proximity. The app's users are encouraged to meet each other in person.
  • LiveMe: This live-streaming video app uses geolocation to share videos so users can find out a broadcaster's exact location. Users can earn coins within the app and use them as a way to pay minors for photos.
  • Holla: The app's makers admit it's an "addicting" video chat app. It allows users to meet people all over the world in just seconds. Reviewers say they have been confronted with racial slurs, explicit content, and more. 
  • Whisper: This is an anonymous social network that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. It also reveals a user's location so people can meet up.
  • Badoo: This is a dating and social networking app where users can chat, share photos and videos based on location. The app is intended for adults only, but teens are known to create profiles.
  • Ask.fm: This app has become known for cyberbullying. The app encourages users to allow people to anonymously ask them questions. 

According to the sheriff's office, 22-year-old Austin Altman last weekend drove to Hernando County, north of Tampa and west of Orlando, to pick up the child he'd met on SnapChat. It's alleged he took her back to his home where he held her down and sexually assaulted her. 

The victim was found in Altman's bedroom and he was arrested. He remains jailed on charges of sexual batter on a child, interference with custody and violating probation.