NEBRASKA CITY – Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson spoke with middle school students and senior citizens at “mobile office” hours in Nebraska City Thursday, warning the age groups about sex trafficking and scams that prey on people’s trust.
Peterson urged students to make decisions now about how they will handle situations where illegal drugs are presented to them, rather than having to make split second decisions under peer pressure. He also warned students about the use of cell phones for sexting and extortion.
He said the attorney general’s office works with law enforcement to monitor crimes utilizing Internet and cell phones.
Peterson: “We are also looking for human trafficking activity, where people are trying to market young girls for sex.. so we have to closely watch this.”
He described situations where run-aways in need of temporary shelter are offered drugs and food and later forced into sexual slavery.
Peterson: “The average age of those who enter into human trafficking is 14 years old. Where do you go find 14 year olds. The best place is here (holding up cell phone) because the volume is very, very high. You can go to shopping malls, you can go to sporting events.”
He said laptop computers should be kept in the living room and cell phones should be checked-in with a parent before a child goes to bed at night.
He also warned students against marijuana use, saying studies show that regular users are more susceptible to paranoid schizophrenia.
Like the tobacco industry, he says the marijuana industry seeks to get children to use in order to secure a customer for life.
For seniors, he said, his office encourages them not to answer calls from numbers they are not familiar with. If it’s important, he said, they will leave a message.
Peterson: “Once these scammers get you on the phone, they are very, very good at what they do. Just like the scammers with young kids on computers, once they get into a dialog with someone, they are very good at deceiving the kids.
Peterson said mobile office hours are well received in rural areas. He said it gives his office opportunity to help people to take responsibility for their own financial guardance.”