If you think you warned your child enough about not talking to strangers online, think again.
Coby Persin, 21, contacted three families through a Craigslist ad asking if he could conduct a social experiment with a daughter from each family about the importance of children not talking to strangers on the web. Each family consented.
The experiment was simple: Persin, of Clifton, New Jersey, created a fake Facebook profile posing as a 15-year-old-boy named “Jason Biazzo.” He then contacted the three girls, ages 12, 13 and 14, as “Jason” and asked them to meet with him alone. Each of the girls said yes, not knowing they were talking to a “child predator.”
“Mikayla, are you crazy?” yelled one of the fathers in the video as he watched his daughter from a close distance walk towards Persin.
In another scenario, one of the girls opened her house door for him after she thought her dad had fallen asleep.
And finally, the chilling scream from one of the underaged teens as she gets into a van with Persin, who pretends he’s kidnapping her, all while her parents are in the backseat unable to believe their daughter got into a van with a stranger.
“What are you thinking?” asked the mother.
The point of the experiment was to get the attention of parents and kids alike about the harms of stranger danger and to teach, or maybe even re-teach, their children the importance of not talking to strangers online or putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
Some parents said they thought Persin’s social experiment was “a little bit drastic,” but Persin thinks otherwise.
“I think they are heroes,” he said about the parents of the girls.
It’s a social experiment the three families will never forget and hopefully, other families can learn from – before it’s too late.