Red flags that parents should look out for - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Red flags that parents should look out for

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - In the wake of the Hannah Anderson kidnapping, News 8 reached out to a well-known lawyer who is familiar with these types of cases.

Sunday -- Wendy Patrick explains how men like Jim DiMaggio attempt to seduce teenage girls, what red flags to look out for, and how parents can protect their children from predators.

"Everyone is a little more at ease now that we have found Hannah, and that she reunited today with her father," she said.

Veteran San Diego attorney Wendy Patrick has seen her share of cases involving close family friends who try to get too close to teens like 40-year-old Jim DiMaggio was allegedly trying to do with-16 year-old Hannah Anderson.

Patrick says a big red flag is any element of secrecy.

"Let us know if any adult asks you to keep a secret," she said. "There's  always that element in these relationships when they start moving toward unhealthy interaction."

Sometimes, Patrick says, teens may not fully be aware that they are being groomed by a potential predator, who just happens to have gained their family's trust. Again, just like DiMaggio, who was referred to as "Uncle Jim."

So, how did DiMaggio get so close to Hannah, whom he's known since she was just an infant?

"They will learn the lingo, the styles, the trends, the clothes, what to wear, what to say..."

Patrick also says another warning sign for teens and their parents is a huge discomfort factor.

What should parents do to keep their teens more aware of someone who may have ulterior motives?

"We gotta really educate them the way we educate ourselves... With the knowledge to know what to look for..." 

Wendy Patrick also says its not a bad idea to monitor what your teen is doing on social media and on their cell phones.

If you have a trusting relationship with them, then it's likely they will be more open with you.

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