Internet crimes against children on the rise in Idaho

Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 10:53:52-04

BOISE, Idaho — The initial outbreak of COVID-19 prompted a spike in social media usage primarily in teens and young children. One of the most downloaded apps among teens and young children was TikTok.

In April, Idaho News 6 was the first to share with you how child predators were using TikTok to exploit young children sexually.

As COVID concerns continue to grow, children remain at home with more access to the internet than ever. During the school year, Idaho’s Internet Crimes Against Children Commander Christopher McCormick says the spike could be attributed to a rise in online learning--but not every case.

“Some of them don’t have an online component where they’ve got nothing to do but to communicate with her friends via social media,” explains McCormick.

In the last eight weeks, ICAC has opened 171 new cases. This time last year, the number was only 88. That’s a 94% increase.

McCormick tells Idaho News 6 that investigators in the unit are tackling about 100 cases give or take, and the recent uptick has become overwhelming.

Tuesday on Good Morning Idaho, Frankie Katafias learns about the recent uptick and its impact on ICAC.

In the meantime, for tips on protecting your kids online, we’ve compiled a list from ICAC and local law enforcement. You can find that story here.