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Back to school chalkboard photos could be an invite for predators, scammers

WATE Knoxville logo WATE Knoxville 8/17/2022 Dara Bitler
Back to school chalkboard photos could be an invite for predators, scammers © Provided by WATE Knoxville Back to school chalkboard photos could be an invite for predators, scammers

DENVER (KDVR) - Across the country, kids are headed back to school for the new school year. That means your social media feed is probably getting flooded with first day of school photos.

You have also likely seen a lot of photos with kids holding chalkboard signs that show:

  • Name
  • The school they’re attending
  • Age
  • Teacher’s name
  • Height/weight
  • Favorite activities

But officials warn this can actually be dangerous. A sheriff’s office in Woodstock, Illinois started a campaign called “Think Before You Share.”

The campaign is warning parents that the popular back to school photos could be used by predators, scammers, and other people looking to endanger your child, family, or finances. The sheriff’s office said it doesn’t matter if your privacy settings are set to share with your friends only.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office said families should also avoid sharing overly personal information, like words or phrases related to your passwords or security answers. Additionally, details about your kid’s favorite things (colors, TV shows, etc.) could be used as an “in” by predators pretending they know a child.

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While you might want to share out all the exciting details, the sheriff’s office suggests thinking about how anything you add to photos of your kids could be used by bad actors.

It’s also important for families to be aware of how and when children are most likely to be abducted or fall prey to child predators.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children explains attempted abductions happen more often when children are going to or from school. School-age children are more likely to experience an attempted abduction are school days from 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.

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