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September 19, 2012

'Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife': Social Media Leading to More Kidnappings of Newborns

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

With social media platforms growing by the day faster than the leaves are changing colors outside here on the East Coast, recent statistics published by show that in 2012 there are currently 845 million active users of Facebook, 127 million users of Twitter and nearly 90 million unique visitors to Google (News - Alert)+. Although these sites can be leveraged by any business to reach a much wider and more diverse audience located all over the globe right away, some people are using these websites for evil rather than good.

Take for example the increasingly popular and ultra scary trend that the FBI is notifying the public about—disturbed individuals turning to social media in order to locate infants they can kidnap. And according to the bureau, this is exactly what recently went down in Arizona when Angelique Robledo became friends with another teen she thought was  also pregnant. It was only after speaking that 18-year-old Kassandra Toruga arrived at Robledo's house with two butcher knives and a pair of scissors hidden in a diaper bag.

"I felt like she was going to stab me, like that's what my gut was telling me," Robledo commented.

Luckily, she survived to tell her chilling tale and is now the doting mother to a bouncing baby boy.

"There seems to be an increasing trend that the women who do this are using social networking sites to gain access to the mothers and to begin to form relationships with them," said FBI Special Agent Mike Conrad in a recent article featured on the CBS 5 site.

To protect yourself not only from a deranged female desiring to become a mother at any means necessary or just a plain old stalker, Conrad strongly advises limiting the information placed on social networking sites, being extremely careful when an unknown individual begins to who show unusually strong interest in you or your pregnancy, and keeping all of your pictures private and only accessible to people you know.

Looking at an equally scary story, recently Ivan Kaspersky, the son of a renowned Russian software developer, who was known for continuously updating his social networking site, is a driving factor behind what could have ultimately made him more susceptible to being kidnapped.

At this time, Russian authorities are still searching for Kaspersky who was last seen in Moscow. And kidnappers are requiring to be paid a total of $4.3 million for the young adult’s safe return.

A statement was revealed which said, “According to media reports, the kidnappers may have gathered all the necessary information on the residence and place of work of the younger Kaspersky from the Internet, as the young man has a very detailed account on the 'In Contact' social network."

Social media users take it from me and beware of the crazies! And maybe even listen to Antoine Dodson who advises people to “hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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