Creeps hang around in kids’ chat rooms and in instant messaging services like MSN. They’re grown adults, but they pretend to be kids. They practice chatting like kids, and they pretend to be interested in whatever kids are interested in. Some of them get very good at it. It can be hard to tell whether you’re talking to a real kid or a fake.

Creeps want to control kids, and eventually get them away from their parents and friends. They’re patient. Some of them will try to talk to a kid for weeks or months.

They will try to find out everything they can about the kid. Name, address, school, sports team, favourite hangouts – anything that will help them track the kid down.

Creeps are liars, and they want kids to lie too. They try to make kids do things they know are wrong. They try to get them to talk about creepy things and look at creepy pictures. When the kid is afraid to tell anyone – then they think they’ve got control.

They’re pretty smart. So how do we outsmart them?