An imposter’s attempt to get a Strabane teenager to send revealing and intimate photographs of herself has been narrowly thwarted, according to police in the North West.
The PSNI says the sixteen-year-old may have been the target of fraudsters or others with more sinister motives.
The warning follows an incident in which the girl was invited as a friend of a person on an online site.
The invitation came from a female who claimed to represent a well-known Belfast-based modelling agency.
Chief Inspector Alan Hutton said: “The young Strabane girl was invited to send on photographs of herself and did send some general images. She was then asked to send some more revealing and intimate photographs, but became suspicious and refused to do so.
“We have made enquiries with the modelling agency, which has no knowledge of the woman who purported to work for them. It appears this was a bogus site.
“While this is an unusual report in the North West, we are aware of other similar scams. Some involve fraudsters seeking to convince young people to spend large sums of money on photographic portfolios that are worthless. Others seek to gather intimate photographs of young people for a more sinister purpose.
“No matter how convincing they are, do not engage on a social media forum with anyone claiming to be from a modelling agency. Genuine agencies have their own means of recruiting models. Never agree to meet anyone from a ‘modelling agency’ unless it is at the agency’s registered office.
“Genuine agencies will never ask inexperienced young people to provide intimate photographs of themselves. For under 18s, such photographs may, in any case illegal.
“If you are interested on a modelling career, then you should contact a reputable agency and talk to them in person.”