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Teen devastated after cruel "catfish" prank by friends

CYBER CRIME: A Yeppoon teenager has been bullied by her 'best friends' on social media
CYBER CRIME: A Yeppoon teenager has been bullied by her 'best friends' on social media Luka Kauzlaric

YOUNG love gone wrong could end in criminal charges for a group of Central Queensland teenagers after it was revealed a 15-year-old girl was 'catfished' and pressured into taking nude photos by her high school friends.

It is understood the girl was "lured" into a relationship with a fictional boy in June, after three of her friends created a fake online account and initiated first contact.

The girl, who attends a school in Central Queensland, then entered a 14 week relationship with the fake account before the truth was revealed last week.

Sharing the story online, the girl's mother posted a warning to other parents about the dangers of social media.

She indicated her child was pressured into providing nude photographs of herself to the "boy", who then threatened to circulate them if she ceased contact.

"Our whole family is in a complete state of shock with what is possible on social media," she wrote online.

"Naturally my daughter was quite smitten after 14 weeks, as he was a dream come true... I was speechless. How could they? Why would they?

"My daughter was devastated, heartbroken, shell shocked."

The woman said she had reported the incident to the school and the police.

An MTV show called Catfish has been created which connects people in online relationships, helping them find out if the romance is real or if they've been lured into the relationship. Watch a clip below. 

Yesterday the principal of the school, which will not be identified, said the matter was in the hands of authorities.

"It happened out of hours, not in school time. And it did not happen on our devices, so it is a parental issue," the principal said.

"The parents have treated the matter very seriously and have worked cooperatively with the police.

"The school's concerns are very much with the well-being of the children... I am trying to provide support to all the children involved.

"I respect the process of investigation."

According to Legal Aid Queensland, if you make or possess illegal sexting images or send them to other people you may be charged with distributing child exploitation material.

Individuals who do so can be charged with a criminal offence for 'possessing child exploitation materials' if they are aged 10 years or over.

Topics:  crime cyber editors picks


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