Thank-you Chris Hansen

Atlanta‘s Star94 held an interview with NBC Dateline’s Chris Hansen yesterday morning which was really interesting. Last night another episode in his series To Catch a Predator aired where the focus was on predators in New Jersey.

During the interview Hansen gave some statistics from the show. Since the series began 3 years ago, 286 predators have surfaced, 256 have been arrested and 117 have been convicted or pled guilty.

His efforts have resulted in a 117 predators that have been caught and punished. There was even one guy who showed up twice! The first time the predator appeared in Riverside County, CA and then 8 months later he was caught again in Longbeach.

Because of his experience from the show, Hansen authored a book titled To Catch a Predator: Protecting Your Kids from Online Enemies Already in Your Home. While talking about the book he was asked about MySpace and the recent news that the social network found and deleted 29,000 predator profiles (more than 4 times the initial 7000 MySpace claimed in May). His response in summary was: good people meet good people on MySpace everyday. And MySpace does monitor and kick people off its site all the time for inappropriate behavior. But with millions and millions of profiles to monitor and watch it is impossible to really know who you are dealing with and who is up to what.

I think Hansen’s approach to the subject of online predators has really helped raise awareness to the dangers of the Internet for kids and shed a lot of light on predator behavior. And if you didn’t already know, Hansen recently tackled another pressing issue for all of us – identity theft. If you missed his series To Catch an ID Thief a few months ago, you can watch the segments here on YouTube. It’s a cool series because he ends up flying all over the world tracking down an international fraud ring.

And speaking of fraud rings… did you see the news about the 17 people indicted last week in a local fraud ring in Kansas City? They stole the personal information of 300 people and filed fraudulent tax returns for $13 million in refunds. If you live in Kansas City, check out the offer from ID Watchdog. They are going to help Kansas City citizens find out if they were a victim for free. Now are you starting to see how identity theft can show up in places outside of your credit report?

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