Mainers are being warned about trusting people you meet online to care for your children. Recently, a local woman met a man on a dating site who seemed nice, but gave her a fake name. Turns out, he's a registered sex offender.

In this case, Bangor Police Sergeant Tim Cotton says the man identified himself to his new friend as Eric Kingston. The two met and hit it off, so the woman did what any smart mother would - she checked him out on the Maine Sex Offender Registry. He wasn't there. At least not under that name. As the relationship developed, he earned her trust, and so she allowed him to occasionally babysit her children.

But when he showed her his new driver's license, she noticed that the name was different. Although Eric had a plausible explanation, she checked the new name, Eric Hasenbank, and found it on the registry. The man she'd entrusted her children with is required to remain on the registry for life. Police charged him with the appropriate crimes, which they declined to detail.

Instead, they wanted to make sure that anyone who may have met 'Eric Kingston' knows that they have been duped. He's not who he claims to be.

And Sergeant Cotton wants to make sure that people understand they have to be very careful about who they allow into their lives. Never assume that someone you meet online is being totally honest with you. Ask for identification. Check them out. It's worth your children's safety to be as cautious as possible.