Law Enforcement concerned about new cell phone app called "Snapc - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Law Enforcement concerned about new cell phone app called "Snapchat"

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For many of us, social media is part of our everyday routine. We tweet, update and share everything. The fact you can do all of that on a smart phone is the reason Chrissy Cash won't let her 11 year old son have one.

"There are all kinds of people that can go on Facebook and chat, and you do not know who they are. the Internet scares me because there are predators out there," says Cash. 

A new app is not only gaining attention of teens, but law enforcement. It is called Snapchat, and it is a big concern says Sergeant Steve Anders with the Internet crimes against children task force. He has heard of many teens sending sexual explicit images to each other.

"It can be exploited by the kids or by the predators," says Anders.

This is how Snapchat works. You take a picture of yourself, set a timer for how long you want the image on the other person's phone, and hit sends. Usually the image disappears in about 10 seconds That is what the app claims it does, but in some cases the image is being saved to the phone and it may be pictures you didn't want saved.

"This is the first I have heard about it but that is very concerning for me," says Cash.

So far they haven't seen cases of children being exploited in our area, but that doesn't mean there is no cause for concern. Anders is already talking to parents, as well as teens.

"Some of them laughed when I mentioned it and talked about it, and when I asked them to raise their hands they did a good number of them had the app on their phone," says Anders.

Anders reminds folks it isn't about the photo staying on the other person's phone, but where it goes from there.

"The problem is when someone gets that pictures and saves a copy of it and shares it and then it gets out into circulation," says Anders.