Police warning after paedophile gatecrashed video chat

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A SUSPECTED paedophile gatecrashed a teenagers’ video chat and performed a sex act.

Police have warned parents to take extra care after 12 youngsters who were taking part in an online discussion were targeted.

The group of girls from Milnathort and Kinross, were using web app ooVoo, which allows users to hold group chats using webcam software.

Police are now trying to track down the man.

The incident, described as “horrifying” by police, was uncovered after the appalled children told their parents what they had seen.

Police Scotland have now issued a warning to families about the dangers of group chats online.

Chief inspector Mike Whitford, area commander for Perth and Kinross, said the incident was “horrifying”.

He said: “I am led to believe that ooVoo is particularly vulnerable to being used by paedophiles, as they can intrude into ongoing chats without permission.

“My message is that all parents need to talk about this kind of vulnerability with their children regularly.

“They need to be really intrusive about the social media their children are using, looking for new apps and establish effective parental controls on any devices to try to block inappropriate material.”

A spokesperson for ooVoo said: “We take these issues very seriously and have a chief privacy officer who roots out and deleted any accounts which may place children or any ooVoo users at risk.

“The reported behaviours are offensive, illegal, and when identified as such will be immediately reported to the authorities.”

ooVoo is a video chat and messaging app, and can be used on mobile phones, iPads and desktop computers.

It enable video chat with up to 12 people at a time, and users can see several at once on the screen.

Last week, police in Fife issued a warning about a similar app called Omegle, which it is claimed is also targeted by sex offenders.

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