Target 11 investigates predators playing video games

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PITTSBURGH - "Call of Duty" is a popular video game played by kids all over the world, but this game can have some real consequences.

"It's not just a game. It's real life, and there are bad guys in the playground so to speak," said Tiversa Internet security expert Rick Wallace.

Bad guys like Richard Kretovic. He befriended a 12-year old boy playing Xbox live and began talking to him. He discovered that he lived near the boy and then set up a meeting. Investigators said Kretovic sexually assaulted the boy. Kretovic was sentenced to jail. And that's not the only thing Target 11 discovered.

"I bought something that I thought was going to bring joy to my family and I brought a pedophile into my house," said a father who agreed to tell his story as long as we concealed his identity to protect his son.

He said his son was playing Xbox Kinect in another room one day when he overheard a man's voice coming from the game. He couldn't believe what he saw on the screen as he entered the room.

"There was an image of a man, a live image of a man standing there naked. He was doing things to himself," said the man.

With the help of a local Internet security company Tiversa, Target 11 set up an Xbox account. And it didn't take long for the questions to start coming in.

"I set it up to be a 12-year-old boy (and) within two minutes, I had two instant messages asking me for your location," said Wallace.

Earle responded," Are you serious? Within two minutes, people were asking where you were. "

"Yes, for my location. What we did was open up a direct line of communication with a 37-year old complete stranger in Pittsburgh," said Wallace.

Earle asked, "And you even asked what city he is in, and he asked who this is?"

"They spend their whole day learning these new technologies and learning ways to try to meet children, said FBI agent Wesley Tagtmeyer, a cyber specialist.

Investigators across the country told Target 11 that they are seeing more and more cases where predators are seeking out potential victims on online video games.

"Any time there's a forum where children are at, predators looking to meet them are going to go to those areas," said Tagtmeyer.

"It's very dangerous because it's only a matter of time before these predators will start asking for personal information, whether it be an email address, a telephone number or anything that can be an identifier for the physical location of that child," Wallace explained.

And the experts said there are some things parents can do to protect their children. The most important tool is to make sure the parental controls are turned on, and they said it's critically important to talk to your children and monitor their movements on line.

Some states have taken steps to crack down on registered sex offenders who play online video games. New York just removed 3,500 registered sex offenders from online video games like Xbox.

And other states now require sex offenders to provide their email address and gamer tag so they can keep track of them.

Pennsylvania is not one of those states.