Gov. Lee discusses child cyber crime during conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Lee held a press conference Thursday afternoon to touch on a few concerning topics, most importantly regarding child cyber crime.

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“As a father and grandfather, I am very concerned about it,” Gov. Lee said.

Director of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation David B. Rausch says with the recent switch to virtual learning, cyber predators are preparing to target children even more than before.

“The tips more than doubled from the pre-COVID months. In the month of March alone, 122 cyber tips were sent to us,” Rausch said.

Rausch says the TBI is prepared to react quickly where necessary for this matter.

“We reallocated special agents from other units to work on the uptick of cyber tips in the short term,” Rausch said. “We also have a Human Trafficking Unit with special agents and intelligence analyst dedicated to investigating this crime.”

Rausch said he wants parents to understand the dangers of virtual learning. He provided a few tips to make sure your child isn’t affected.

“So parents, remind your children that they don’t talk to strangers, and that includes online strangers. Make sure to keep your child’s internet use in a public part of the house and not in the bedroom or the bathroom. Warn your children about people who ask them to take photos of themselves. Our agents have seen children as young as five-years-old taking photos of themselves and at the direction of someone they communicated with,” Rausch said.

Rausch said he does not want to instill fear in parents, but wants to help parents know what to look for to keep children safe online as they would in a regular class setting.

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