SAN ANTONIO -- Police detectives say young girls are being lured into a life of a prostitution and drugs by gang members who are stalking their Facebook pages.
They con someone vulnerable into meeting them somewhere and work a relationship, said San Antonio police Det. George Segura.
Segura, whose name has been changed for the purpose of this report, has a warning to parents who may think their daughter's new Facebook friend is harmless. He said gang members are baiting young girls through social media for prostitution to make hundreds of thousands of dollars on each girl.
So what kind of victims do gang members look for online? Detectives said any girl who is showing a little too much skin could be a cry for attention and may end up attracting the wrong audience: gang members.
If it's a gang member, it's big money, said Scott Pool, a probation officer with Bexar County. They can easily make hundred of thousands of dollars per girl, per year.
Segura said the majority of young prostitutes have been recruited through websites such as Facebook, Jenga and Instagram. At first, the gang member is nice to their prospective prostitute.
But before long, Segura said, the convincing gangster will hook the girl on drugs and then use the web again to book their customers.
He said the youngest girl they have rescued and recovered was 12 years old.
Not every child needs access and such freedom to chat with strangers that could do them harm, Segura said.
Detectives said they spend a lot of man hours trying to just investigate one child that could be a victim. Anyone with more information is encouraged to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.