Predator Sting: MySpace Mom

MySpace Mom

"They've both been doing computers for years. They can do things that I've never dreamed of doing," says Carolina about her two sons Bradley, 18, and Eddy, 15.

Carolina has always monitored her sons both online and off. "If my kids are going to a friend's house, I want to meet the parents, I want to see the neighborhood, I want to know what's going on, and I think of the Internet as the same thing."

Carolina explains that she created a fake profile on MySpace for a 16-year-old girl named Candy Sweetness, just to see if she knew her kids as well as she thought she did. She shows off her handiwork.

"This is the profile I set up as Candy, and I said she just moved here, going to high school, and she wanted to meet new friends. I had a lot of kids contact me on my fake profile wanting to know
who I was, if I wanted to get together and party. 'Here's my phone number.' I've seen invitations to dope smoking parties, parties when parents are not home." Scrolling down a Web page she continues, "Here, I've got somebody's name, home address, and these are all the people who are attending the party. Believe me, on MySpace anything goes. Candy Sweetness has contacted both my sons, and they both responded back. And I wrote, 'Do you want to be friends?' And [my son] wrote back, 'Of course I want to be your friend. You're awesome.' I don't feel guilty not being honest with the boys because it's my job as a parent to check up on them. With the Internet, they're putting it out there for the entire world to see. Why can't Mom see?"

Dr. Phil invites Carolina's two sons out to join their mother and him onstage.

 

After making their introductions, Dr. Phil asks, "Are you safe on the computer? Do you know you've got to be careful whom you talk to and what information you give out and that sort of thing?"

"Yeah," says Eddy.

"So, do you trust the people to whom you're talking on there?" asks Dr. Phil.

Bradley replies, "Most of the people I talk to I know."

"Yeah, and the one you said that you didn't know was this Candy Sweetness," Dr. Phil says to Carolina. She confirms, playing along.

"Would you like to meet Candy Sweetness?" he asks the boys.

"Not really," says Eddy with great hesitation. This provokes a laugh from Dr. Phil and Carolina.

"Well, I want both of you to look to your immediate right," says Dr. Phil, gesturing at Carolina. The two young men give their mother a sidelong look as the realization dawns on them that they have been fooled.

"So, Candy," Dr. Phil says knowingly.

"Hi, guys," says Carolina.

"Or, excuse me, Miss Sweetness," Dr. Phil continues. "Did they give up their phone numbers?"

"You know, Bradley did," she recounts. "He gave me his cell phone number, thought perhaps we could go on a date or something, get together, meet. Eddy was a little trickier. He didn't actually give me his phone number. He gave me a friend's phone number and said, 'Call her, and she can check you out,' and when I had somebody call for me " a younger girl so that it didn't sound like Mom " the girl didn't want to talk at all. She just immediately gave me Eddy's phone number. So, in a round about way " he didn't give out his phone number, a friend gave out his phone number, if you want to get technical."


"So you have both of their phone numbers instantly," Dr. Phil says.

"I was able to narrow things down," she says. "And in our town " we live in a really small area " I could find him."

"And if you could find him, anybody could find him," says Dr. Phil, but the news is not all bad. "So you basically confirmed your perception that they're responsible young men."

"Pretty much, yeah," says Carolina.

"Well, there you go," he says. Making a gesture of wiping his brow, he tells the boys, "Phew!"