Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell penned an open letter Sunday warning parents that their children may be taking nude photographs of themselves — "selfies" — that could attract dangerous attention from online predators.
Sheriff's detectives have already investigated more than 80 cases this year involving thousands of "nude and compromising photographs and videos" of children and teenagers on the Internet, McDonnell wrote in a letter posted on Facebook.
Last year, he said, a sheriff's task force investigated more than 500 such cases, McDonnell said. One in four photos involved teenagers "who had taken nude 'selfies,'" he wrote.
"All too often, these images end up on the internet or in the hands of child predators, some of whom actually make contact with these children," the sheriff wrote.
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