District officials were informed by the Colonie Police Department today of an investigation that has led to endangering the welfare of a child charges against an adult male involving alleged contact with children via a fake social media account.
The information from the police department stated that a two-month investigation revealed that the adult male allegedly solicited pictures from potentially hundreds of girls, aged 8-15 years old, in the Colonie area asking them to submit pictures of themselves to a fake Instagram account that had been set up to look like a modeling agency’s account.
Police say there is no indication of physical contact between the adult male and any of the alleged victims, but the individual is believed to have received up to six photos in response to his requests. Efforts are being made to identify those potential victims. Investigators are asking that anyone with information about this individual or who believes they were victimized by him to please contact Colonie Police at 783-2744.
We encourage parents to talk to their children about the risks associated with social media and share the following safety tips from the National Crime Prevention Council:
- Don’t give out your personal information.
- Think about what you post.
- Send or accept friend requests only from people you know.
- Be careful what you and your friends share.
For additional social media safety tips, visit the National Crime Prevention Council’s website.
The FBI website also provides tips to keep your children safe, especially if they are visiting social networking sites.