Facebook fake accused of ‘grooming’ North Coast teen girls

A MAN police allege set up a fake Facebook account to groom North Coast teenage girls was arrested with help from local high school kids.

Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said the man in his 20s had "friended" more than 300 young girls using a fake name, email address, photos and information.

Det Insp Cullen said it is alleged the New Zealand national tried to arrange meeting the girls by luring them with fake photos of a younger, attractive man.

He said police received information about the man, who recently spent time in the region, at a North Coast high school cyber crime lecture.

"Based on the information we received we were able to track down the man, who recently returned to New Zealand," he said.

"We passed on the information to New Zealand police and they arrested the man for similar offences in New Zealand."

Det Insp Cullen said the man, who NSW police declined to name, was facing serious charges for sexual related offences and blackmail in New Zealand.

Local police have been liaising with the New Zealand Child Protection Unit and Federal Police about the man.

"New Zealand police are making certain inquiries for us in relation to the Facebook account. Based on those inquiries we may be taking further action."

Det Insp Cullen warned people not to "friend" Facebook users they didn't know.

"We encourage young people to report matters of abuse and threats online to police."

Concerned about the number of children under 13 using Facebook, police encourage parents to play a more active role in children's online activity. Visit cybersmart.gov.au.



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