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Schoolgirls targeted on Facebook by fake model agent

Police investigate complaint and Inverclyde Council urges parents to be vigilant.

By STV News

Published 05 Apr 2016.

Schoolgirls have been targeted online by a fake model agent who tried to convince them to send pictures of themselves.

The young girls were approached on Facebook through a profile under the name of Lisa Banks, who claimed to work for a model agency in London.

Police in Inverclyde received reports of instances of girls being contacted by the individual.

It is understood some were asked to send inappropriate pictures of themselves.

Base Model Management said it has never heard of anyone by the name of Lisa Banks and there is no one of that name employed by the agency.

Police have launched an investigation and urged anyone with any concerns to get in touch and the council urged parents and pupils to remain "vigilant".

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We can confirm we have received a complaint and inquiries are continuing.

"Police Scotland takes online safety very seriously and we would like to remind everyone of the importance of only accepting friend requests from people you know, as well as urging parents to monitor what their children are using the internet for.

"Anyone with concerns regarding this matter is urged to contact officers via 101."

A spokesman for Inverclyde Council said there is no information the children were targeted while at school and that internet safety advice is regularly provided to pupils.

He added: "We would actively encourage parents and pupils to remain vigilant when online. Incidents like this highlight the potential dangers of the internet."

A statement from Base Model Management said: "We would never contact children or even adults in that way and ask for inappropriate photos. Lisa Banks is nobody we are aware of.

"Unfortunately this is something which is happening more often within the industry. Social media, while it can be positive, can also be quite dangerous."