A terrified mother has sent out an urgent warning to parents after the arrival of Uber Eats at her doorstep alerted her to the fact her teenage daughter was being groomed online by someone who asked her to send disturbing messages.
Beki Giunta, a former nurse from Queensland, found out her daughter was being targeted by a predator when the delivery showed up at their doorstep despite no-one in the house making the order.
Her 16-year-old daughter, who has autism, said it was for her but that she didn’t pay for it which only made Ms Giunta more suspicious about who had.
After confiscating her daughter’s phone she found ‘nasty’ messages between the girl and an older male who said he would send free food in exchange for voice messages where the teen would degrade him.
The mother-of-two reported the incident to police and is now warning others to make sure their children do not fall into similar traps.
‘If you’ve got teenagers either go through their s***, make sure they’re safe [and] educate them or risk having some f***ing weirdo get your address,’ she said.
READ MORE: Former nurse’s life-saving tip
A former nurse has shared the tip which will ‘save a child’s life’ if they burn themselves – and it can also prevent permanent scarring.
Ms Giunta recalled the moment she realised that her daughter was in danger on a video she posted to TikTok on Wednesday.
‘One afternoon we get a knock on the door and its Uber Eats, nobody ordered it and I was like, okay what the hell, and I went to ask my daughter “did you order food?”,’ she said.
Her daughter tried to lie her way out of the situation before her mother confiscated her phone to find out what had happened.
‘There’s no such thing as privacy in my house with a mobile phone, especially if you’re a teenager, I don’t care,’ she said.
‘So I went through her phone and found her talking to some guy who was asking her to call him bad names and say nasty things to him and in return he would buy things.’
Ms Giunta asked her daughter how she had found the groomer’s account and was told her that one of her friends was also sending him voice messages in exchange for free stuff.
The mum immediately blocked the groomer and took the matter to police who told her that they might be in danger now their address had been provided.
Police told Ms Giunta that there was little they could do but encouraged her to install security cameras around her house to make sure that nobody was lurking around.
She then sat down with her daughter to explain how dangerous the situation could have been.
Ms Giunta has continued teaching her daughter about online safety since the incident took place to make sure that the gravity of the situation had sunk in.
The pair now have solid rules in place to make sure that nothing like that could ever happen again.
Her daughter has since turned off her location settings and she no longer gives out personal information or posts photos which could reveal her location.
‘This guy was grooming my child so I took it to the police station and they were pretty concerned about it because this guy now has my address,’ she said.
‘We did not sleep for weeks because we were like, cool, is someone going to break in…
‘Just be safe because this f***ing creep could have been at my door or even watching us this whole time.’
Cyber safety rules in Queensland
According to the E-Safety Commissioner website, online grooming is when an older person tricks someone under 18 into thinking they’re in a close relationship so they can sexually abuse them.
The process of grooming commences when an adult takes a particular interest in someone underage with the intent to form a bond to persuade or encourage the child to engage in sexual activity. They may do this by directly speaking to the child about sexual matters or exposing them to indecent matters including pornographic material.
In Queensland, grooming is considered under the same umbrella as sexual assault, and it is an offence to groom a child under the age of 16.
Below are just some tips from the site for preventing unwanted contact online.
- Make social media accounts private.
- Delete contacts or followers they don’t really know.
- Report and block those who send unwanted contact.