PALM COAST, Fla. - A Flagler County mother says her teenage daughter’s name and images were used to make a fake Instagram account promoting explicit content.
"When you look at your daughter’s face under those circumstances – you want to stop it immediately," said Barbara Posella. "One of the photos was a shot of her in the bikini when we were on the beach on vacation over the summer."
Someone took the 17-year-old's beach bikini picture and added a caption for "bad boys" who can find more content by clicking on a link in the bio.
"When you click on that is when you get all the even nastier stuff," Posella explained.
Posella says she went to everyone she could think of – including law enforcement – to get the page pulled down after a relative discovered it Wednesday.
"They basically said, ‘There’s nothing you really can do. It could have been someone in school, it could be someone out of the country.’" she said.
It’s the scary reality of what can happen online. Social media security expert Tom Jelneck says kids may start with their profiles being private but then make it public to get more followers.
"You have to go look. You have to search – not just their account, you need to go to the Instagram search box and be searching for your child," Jelneck, Head of Marketing at Steamroller Studios, said.
Posella says Instagram has pulled the fake page down and her daughter’s social media will be on lock down.
"Frankly, I think we overlook a lot of it, and we miss a lot," Posella said.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says Posella made contact with the agency but never filed a report.
Instagram has information for parents and teens regarding social media account.
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