Predator’s paradise: Be careful what you post on the Internet - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Predator’s paradise: Be careful what you post on the Internet

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A Lexington County man is in jail accused of soliciting sex from a 13-year-old girl.

A 35-year-old William Spivey faces charges including five counts of criminal solicitation of a minor.

Spivey is accused of using a fake name to go online and solicit sex.

It was the victim's mother who discovered the messages on Facebook and notified deputies.

Logging in can easily whisk children into a world wide web of predators.

"Millions of users sign on to social media sites like Facebook every day," said South Carolina Attorney General, Alan Wilson.

With faces and photos attached to every name, Wilson says it can become a predator's paradise.

"Facebook, like any other tool, like a chainsaw, can be a wonderful tool in the hands of the right person," said Wilson. "But, in the hands of a person who does not understand its power, it can be a deadly weapon."

Investigators say 35-year-old William Spivey of Lexington took advantage of the tool using a fake name, preying on a 13-year-old girl.

In this case, the young girl's mother found sexually explicit messages on the social network site.

She alerted the Richland County Sheriff's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force; one agency prowling the Web for predators.

"They have become more sophisticated in how they get into your life so law enforcement has to be more sophisticated in how they protect the citizens of the state," said Wilson. "We have to be more sophisticated in how we prosecute those criminals and parents and students have to become more sophisticated in how they protect themselves."

Investigators say controlling your privacy settings, and as a parent, knowing what's being posted, especially when you're not around, and talking with your children is a great way to help avoid being a victim.

"Parents, students and school administrators, we need you to be self aware and vigilant so you can prevent this from ever occurring because once we get involved, that means someone has already been preyed upon," said Wilson.

Social media can be a great tool -it's a great way to keep in touch with friends and share parts of your life.

But investigators say be careful about what you share.

The Attorney General believes there could be other victims of William Spivey.

If you or someone you know is a victim, please call the special victim's unit of the Richland County Sheriff' Department at 576-3115.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

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