WATCH: Stranger Danger hits close to home

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)  – It’s becoming news all too often. Stranger danger, an adult pretending to be someone else on social media, who wins the trust of a child. In fact, it just happened way too close to home, when a 60-year old man planned to meet up with 13-year old. How can you keep your kids safe from predators? Newswatch Reporter Dylan Fearon tries to find the answers.

This is the mug shot of 60-year old John Kunkle, arrested after flying to Beckley to meet up with a 13-year old he met online.

“You don’t ever really know who you’re talking with on social media these people pretend to be someone else they can fake create fake accounts and do what’s called social engineering where they’ll go and develop a profile,” said Detective David Allard with Beckley Police

It’s a frightening story that we hear all too often. And now that’s happened so close to home… many parents and grandparents are becoming more aware of a world they know very little about.

“We had a big conversation we don’t give any age any stress any schooling no important facts about where we’re from,” said Amanda Acord Glen Daniel Resident

“I go in there and check ok give me the phone you’ll get it back tomorrow or something like that because they’ll be on there at night that’s when they prey,” said Tamara Phillips Beckley Resident

Beckley Police Detective David Allard, says he sees this story more than he’d like. His advice to parents is to do what he does at home when dealing with his kids and their social media filled lives.

Allard says, “I have my fingerprint my passcode to get into the phone so any time I want to get in the phone and it’s something we do we don’t say we’re going do it my wife and I practice that we look at text messages we go through group messages”

One parent even tells WOAY, once the clock hits 9 pm, the phone gets turned off, and it’s light out.

“Do something else with your kids try to get them to spend more family together time you know go to the movies together go skating go out to dinner c’mon we’re going to dinner tonight,” Phillips says.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com