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  • Oct 22nd, 2019 2:35 pm
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2014
1496 posts
858 upvotes
Vancouver, BC

Online Bullying

My 12 year old daughter accidentally added the wrong number to her group chat (iPad iMessage group). That person added another person to the group and both persons began swearing and bullying my daughter.
They are calling her a b*tch and a wh*re, among other things. My daughter and her friends left the group chat and created a new group. The foreign persons created other groups and began adding my daughter and her friends to those groups, where they continue to bully her. My daughter blocked those 2 accounts but she was contacted from another account, asking (telling) her to unblock them and talk to them. I tried to facetime the account last night but there was no reply. I also called the number today but I got to voicemail.
I googled the phone number (a Vancouver 604 number) that is connected to one of the accounts and found it associated with some engineer. The engineer's online info has him working at UBC until last year, and his linkedin profile says he's in Kingston ON now.
I suspect that the number used to belong to that engineer but that he returned the number when he moved to Ontario, and now the number belongs to the person who is bullying my daughter and her friends.
What are my options here?
21 replies
Deal Addict
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Mar 29, 2008
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That’s brutal. My kids aren’t age yet and I haven’t dealt with this, but I feel for you and your daughter. Hopefully you get some good advice. Good luck.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Make contact with the parents and when you confirmed it's their kid on the other end, send them a screenshot.
If the parents are decent, they would take some sort of action...I would.
Member
Aug 23, 2017
211 posts
164 upvotes
@Sievert along with the measures you're taking to ensure your kid's safety and mental health, I'd suggest also taking this to the notice of RCMP Cyber wing.

Details Here

Bullying is ugly and is inhumane for the victims.
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2014
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vkizzle wrote: Make contact with the parents and when you confirmed it's their kid on the other end, send them a screenshot.
If the parents are decent, they would take some sort of action...I would.
How do I find the parents? I don't even know for sure that it's kids behind those two accounts.
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2014
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kgvaughan wrote: @Sievert along with the measures you're taking to ensure your kid's safety and mental health, I'd suggest also taking this to the notice of RCMP Cyber wing.

Details Here

Bullying is ugly and is inhumane for the victims.
Thanks. I asked my daughter to keep screenshots of their messages.
My daughter told me that the person followed everyone on my daughter's friend list and tried to contact her through them. I asked her to ask her friends to keep screenshots too.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Sievert wrote: How do I find the parents? I don't even know for sure that it's kids behind those two accounts.
Try contacting the engineer you found associated with the number.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3254 posts
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Woodbridge
What are the circumstances through which this other person was added to the chat? Does your daughter know who the person is but didn't mean to add them or did she add a random number/wrong number? Are these people your daughter's age? Do they attend her school? It seems as though some details are missing here.
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2014
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Vancouver, BC
vkizzle wrote: Try contacting the engineer you found associated with the number.
I sent him a message on facebook and linkedin. If I don't hear back by Monday, I will call his work.
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2014
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OntEdTchr wrote: What are the circumstances through which this other person was added to the chat? Does your daughter know who the person is but didn't mean to add them or did she add a random number/wrong number? Are these people your daughter's age? Do they attend her school? It seems as though some details are missing here.
My daughter attempted to add a friend via her phone number but mis-typed the number and added this person instead. This person then added another person. My daughter does not know who these people are or how old they are. If I knew who they are, I'd contact their parents and school (if they are kids), or the police (if they are adults).
I'm half tempted to tell my daughter to try to extract details about these people but I told her instead not to engage them and just screenshot their attempts to contact her (and let me know immediately if they make threats).
Deal Guru
Apr 8, 2013
10205 posts
734 upvotes
I cant imagine how much pressure these kids are going through these days. Bullies can do whatever without showing their face.

If I was in your situation, I will take my daughter's phone and keep blocking them until they stop. I would act as a buffer. I wouldnt even waste any second contacting anyone.

Block, Block, Block.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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Sievert wrote: I sent him a message on facebook and linkedin. If I don't hear back by Monday, I will call his work.
You will want to make sure you are careful with what you say if you choose to call his place of employment. If you start mentioning that you believe he is harassing your child online without any proof (which you don't really have) then you could face serious consequence for the damage you may cause to his reputation.
[OP]
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Jun 23, 2014
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TrevorK wrote: You will want to make sure you are careful with what you say if you choose to call his place of employment. If you start mentioning that you believe he is harassing your child online without any proof (which you don't really have) then you could face serious consequence for the damage you may cause to his reputation.
I don't plan on mentioning anything to his employer. I just want to know if he still owns the number or not.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15137 posts
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Eastern Ontario
Sorry this is happening.
And I am sorry, but I think you are going about this all wrong

Good advice here from @kgvaughan in Reply # 4
And @kevindurant1 in Reply # 11

Take the internet out of the scenario for a moment
Replace it with “home phone”

What would you do if ...
Your Daughter had called a wrong number
And then said wrong number called your house back repeatedly cuz they had your number from Call Display
So as to harass your daughter / family

You cannot prove for sure it’s the same person ... cuz they now are employing call display blocking on their end

BUT they are harassing your kid & family
With inappropriate contact of a minor... and bad language / bullying etc
(And at some point it goes from bullying to harassment to stalking if it continues )

If it was your house phone you’d probably take the following measures
1- Block Them
2- Reach out to those in authority ... maybe change your phone number
3- Contact the Police

So it goes with the Internet

DO NOT think you should handle this on your own by playing detective
DO NOT contact this person
DO NOT contact their employer etc

You are just playing into their hands

WHOEVER is doing this is not someone you can reason with
Nor someone you should engage with (that may just feed their frenzy)

Block
Disengage
Report

And have a serious talk ... investigation on your own end with your Daughter
On how this happened
So BOTH IF YOU better understand how the internet is not all that safe for minors

You need to think of the fact that it invites people into your house
The same way a home telephone does
Or ... if someone came to your home itself and did these things on your property / at your front door
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Dec 27, 2013
3254 posts
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Woodbridge
Sievert wrote: My daughter attempted to add a friend via her phone number but mis-typed the number and added this person instead. This person then added another person. My daughter does not know who these people are or how old they are. If I knew who they are, I'd contact their parents and school (if they are kids), or the police (if they are adults).
I'm half tempted to tell my daughter to try to extract details about these people but I told her instead not to engage them and just screenshot their attempts to contact her (and let me know immediately if they make threats).
I think you need to consider the possibility that your daughter isn't telling you the whole story. While it's certainly possible that everything you described happened, it seems very unlikely for your daughter to mistype a number and for that number to: 1. belong to an individual (as opposed to a business or be unassigned), 2. belong to an individual that uses iMessage, AND 3. belong to an individual who would then go and add their friends and start harassing a random person. It would be like the scenario that @PointsHubby described... dialling a wrong number and then having the person on the other end call you back, have their friends call you back, find your address, come to your home etc. Yes, it's possible, but I think a simpler explanation is that a 12-year-old got themselves in a situation that they didn't anticipate, can't get themselves out of, and are afraid of getting in trouble for. Occam's razor. Have you contacted your daughter's school to discuss this? It's possible that this person your daughter added is actually another student, or a friend of a friend, or a high school student that knows members of her group or someone else connected to her through school. Her teachers might know something you don't or might have the opportunity to investigate it in a way that you can't. I teach this age-group and helping students navigate their way through situations that they're afraid of telling their parents about is not uncommon.

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