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11 May 2011, 14:20
Detectives investigating a fake modelling agency scam have arrested a man in connection with the investigation.
An 18-year-old man was arrested from an address in Leicester on April 13 following extensive enquiries by the Force’s Paedophile and Online Investigation team. He has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
In January Leicestershire Constabulary issued a warning to the public after they received reports of a scam which involved a number of social network sites posing as genuine modelling agencies and inciting children to pose in their underwear.
A number of false Facebook profiles were set up posing as modelling agencies; the profiles used an agency logo to give the impression that it was a genuine.
Detectives have been carrying out extensive enquiries and have taken over the control of a number of social networking profiles connected with the investigation.
A global message has been sent to all those profiles and their friends alerting them to the scam and that the profile will be removed and any images obtained by the police will be destroyed at the end of the investigation.
Detective Sergeant Ed Jones of the Force’s Paedophile and Online Investigation team, said: “Our investigation into this scam is still ongoing and we would like to remind the public to remain vigilant and report any concerns they may have to the police.
“Reputable modelling agencies would never approach you in this way, do not post pictures online of yourself posing in your underwear and if you are under 18 these photographs may be indecent under UK Law.
“Unfortunately once images have been posted on the internet you have no control over where these photos will end up and they could appear on the internet forever.
“If anyone believes they may have been a victim of a similar crime online you can use the CEOP Report Abuse Button which is now available as an app on Facebook or contact police. The website www.thinkuknow.co.uk also has more information and advice.”
Anyone with any information which would could assist the investigation further is asked to contact DS 800 Ed Jones on Leicester (0116) 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer’s identification number 0800. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, which is free* and anonymous, on 0800 555 111.
* Please note, some mobile ‘phone service providers may charge for this call.