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Nashua Police warning residents of fake Facebook profiles, call it 'dark side of the internet'

"Unfortunately in this day and age, we have to consider that and deal with it."

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 8:57 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2018 6:25 AM

NASHUA, Iowa - It's a warning that's been shared on Facebook over 1,800 times.

Nashua Police posted a warning Sunday on their Facebook page, saying they've received multiple reports of a fake profile requesting sexual images from local youth.

According to police, one person interacted more with this profile and was solicited for sexual images under threat of public shaming. No images were provided and she contacted the police.

Sara Scobee is a photographer on Main Street in Nashua, and is also a Facebook user. She's noted that she's had instances of seemingly strange and fake profiles trying to friend her, which she's always declined.

"I do, fairly often, actually. I just make sure I delete them and move on."

But before moving on, she often times reports it to Facebook.

"It depends on if I take the time to do it. A lot of times I do, but not every time."

Interim Police Chief Benjamin Scholl says this sort of thing has happened before, and is currently working to find out who is behind it.

"Looking at the texts, and the narrative that's on there, and by doing some internet searches, we were able to find conversations that were almost identical from other places with different profile names. So right now, it's leading me to believe that it's not somebody local."

Scholl wants to ensure residents that whoever is behind the profile does not know anything about you, and reminds users to not share any personal information.

"The people that are doing this ... they do not have dirt on you. They don't know anything about you, except for what you give them. Also, they just want to have some control or power over you, and if you give them that, that's when it becomes a very dark path. And that can lead to...obviously if somebody decides to share that picture, then that person isn't going away. They're going to requesting something else, and now they do have power to say, 'do this, or I'll send this to everyone you know'. And it's this dark side of the internet that we, unfortunately in this day and age, we have to consider that and deal with it."

Scobee has a message for any youth, and their parents, who may come across these type of messages.

"Say something to a parent or friend. Make sure that you talk to your parents too, so that they know," Scobee said. "Not everybody in the world is good, unfortunately. And be active. Make sure you keep communication open with your kids and talk to them about it. That they know and they're aware."

If you do come across the profile or anything similar, you are asked to contact Nashua Police at 641-435-2068, or at benjamin.scholl@nashuapolice.org.

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