A schoolgirl was contacted on Snapchat and asked to send revealing photos from someone purporting to be a modelling agent.
The 13-year-old from Wrexham in Wales was approached by somebody using the name New Faces Models and asked to send ‘something that shows off her body and figure.’
Her horrified mother then set up an account on the app purporting to be a 12-year-old girl and was asked to send similarly revealing pictures.
The 13-year-old from Wrexham in Wales was approached by somebody using the name New Faces Models
Police have now launched an investigation after the girl’s horrified mother reported the Snapchat user
Dozens of children as young as EIGHT have been raped or abused by paedophiles on dating apps
Dozens of children as young as eight have been raped or sexually abused by paedophiles on apps like Tinder and Grindr because they are failing to enforce age restrictions, shocking new figures revealed this month.
Police forces have investigated more than 30 incidents of child rape since 2015 where victims were sexually exploited after evading age checks on dating apps. One boy, 13, was raped or abused by at least 21 men.
There were a further 60 instances of child sex offences via online dating platforms, including grooming, kidnapping and violent sexual assault.
The figures were revealed by 10 of 46 British police forces.
In one case, an eight-year-old child was groomed by a paedophile on an app before exchanging ‘photos of a sexual nature’. He was arrested.
A 13-year-old boy from Yorkshire who had posted a false date of birth on dating apps was sexually exploited by 21 men he met online, including two teachers.
And a 16-year-old girl from Nottingham with Down’s syndrome was manipulated into sending photos of her genitalia.
The mother, who regularly checks her daughter’s phone, was sickened to find a number of inappropriate messages from an unknown person when she was looking through the teenager’s Snapchat account.
One message read: ‘Can’t believe your body is that good! Still shocked! Lol’
Another asked: ‘Are you wearing something that somewhat shows off your body and figure?’
The schoolgirl was approached in January by somebody using Snapchat under the name New Faces Models – a name similar to New Face Models, a legitimate modelling support service run by Blue Rooms Limited in London.
Blue Rooms Limited has confirmed the person has ‘no affiliation’ with the company and said it would ‘never send a friend request online to a model.
The person started a conversation by asking whether she was interested in becoming a model, before telling her the company ‘don’t deal with parents’ until a job offer has been made.
After telling her she had an ‘amazing face’ and they were ‘really impressed’ with an image she had sent, they offered her a Snapchat video interview for a modelling position.
They warned she would not be able to see or hear them as their camera and microphone would be ‘locked’ because they were using a work phone and all questions would be sent by text.
After asking whether she was wearing ‘something that somewhat shows off your body and figure’, the person said the crop top and pyjama bottoms she had on ‘sounds good’ – despite the girl confirming she was only 13.
The schoolgirl was approached in January by somebody using Snapchat under the name New Faces Models
NHS to team up with social media giants to make internet safer for children
Health Secretary Matt Hancock this month revealed plans to put together a team of senior doctors and nurses to oversee the removal of harmful material from online platforms such as Instagram.
Under the new plans, child psychologists and mental health experts will act as a ‘referee’ to help distinguish acceptable content from that which promotes suicide.
Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, recently agreed to ban all graphic content, such as self-cutting videos.
The Health Secretary’s comments come after the tragic death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who is believed to have taken her own life after viewing material glorifying self-harm online.
The Health Secretary’s initiative will establish a team of child psychologists and mental health experts to act as a ‘referee’ for what is acceptable content.
Some content obviously promotes suicide and self harm while some lies within a ‘grey area’, and the team of NHS staff will help determine where the boundary lies, Mr Hancock said.
He added that global firms must live up to their responsibilities and if they fail to act then the government will step in.
While the girl was on video, the person asked whether she had ever smoked or drunk alcohol before telling her her ‘body looks amazing’, she was ‘a ready made model’, and was ‘too pretty to hang up on’.
She later asked for the company’s address, to which they replied they, ‘can’t give out the address to unsigned people’.
The girl’s mother said: ‘It scared the life out of me how easily it can be done and how this person can so easily get into the mind of a child.
‘It’s my child’s dream to become a model and for her to be exploited like that has knocked me sick.
‘If I hadn’t seen those messages I believe it could have been so much worse. I dread to think what could have happened. It’s so very easy now when it comes to social media.’
Following the video call, the person told the 13-year-old she had an ‘extremely good chance’ of getting a job and they would be in touch in a week to let her know.
A spokesman for North Wales Police said: ‘North Wales Police can confirm that complaints have been made and the force is looking into the matter.’
A spokesman for Blue Rooms Limited, said: ‘I can confirm to the best of our knowledge that the individual mentioned claiming to be from New Face Models on Snapchat has no affiliation at all with our company The Blue Rooms (London) Limited.’
After discovering the messages the following day, her mother added the Snapchat account under a false profile where she posed as a 12-year-old girl.
Blue Rooms Limited has confirmed the person has ‘no affiliation’ with the company and said it would ‘never send a friend request online to a model
How parents can protect their children on social media
Parents are encouraged to monitor their children’s activity online to keep them safe while using the internet and social networks.
- Families should explore websites and apps together and talk about what their children are viewing online.
- Parental controls can be used to block upsetting or harmful content. These controls can often be found in the settings of a mobile phone.
- Parents are also able to restrict app purchases and how long children spend online.
The person immediately asked for five images to review her appearance to see whether she would qualify for a ‘video interview over Snapchat’.
She said she would talk to her mother first, but the ‘agent’ reassured her they were a ‘model agent with New Face Models’ and had ‘nothing to gain’ from tricking her.
She then revealed that she was the mother of the girl they had spoken to previously, and told them she would be reporting it to the police.
The person responded by claiming they were a legitimate model agent.
They said they would be reporting the mother for ‘harassment’, and denied there had been a video call with her daughter.
The woman added: ‘I said I was just 12 and they were still happy to try to get me on the camera. I genuinely believe it’s a predator who is grooming young girls.
‘I still think my daughter is too young to have social media but, when all her friends have it, it’s hard to say no.
‘I don’t think she understood the severity of it and how it could have been so much worse, so I’ve sat her down and explained about these people and how they work.
‘It’s really shaken me up and now my daughter has a better understanding. It has shaken her up too.
‘Even if this raises awareness for parents to check devices from time to time, I’ll be happy. I just hope this sick individual gets caught.’
The chilling story comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock this month revealed plans to put together a team of senior doctors and nurses to oversee the removal of harmful material from online platforms such as Instagram.
This follows the tragic death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who is believed to have taken her own life after viewing material glorifying self-harm online.