Men swarm law enforcement officers as they monitor chat rooms

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Federal and local law enforcement agents visited WBTV Tuesday night for a special live event during our 11 p.m. news.

Four of the agents were stationed on computers in our newsroom and presented themselves online in chat rooms as underage teens.

WBTV's Molly Grantham interviewed the agents to show how long it takes before sexual predators start talking with the agents -- who pretended online to be teenage girls.

Immediately after entering regular Yahoo! chat rooms, they were solicited by individuals who were claiming to be older men.

"I probably had about three seconds before I got my first instant message back to me," said Colleen Moss with the FBI. "The very first one asked me if I wanted to see him naked on his web cam."

The FBI says it typically only takes mere minutes before predators strike up a conversation.

Law enforcement officials also say it's heartbreaking when you see how many of our nation's kids are being lured away from their families by sexual predators who use the internet to disguise their intentions.

Many of the conversations were not appropriate to air on television and WBTV made sure not to display the chat windows.

Also during Tuesday night's event many men tried to lower the guard of the agents -- mostly by saying they "only wanted to talk."

The agents warned parents of teens to keep computers in common areas of homes to avoid problems.