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Police warn of inappropriate Instagram account targeting middle schoolers

by: Jacqui Heinrich Updated:

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NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. - An Instagram user posing as a middle school student is targeting kids in Northborough and exposing them to adult images.

Police say they don’t know if that user is local, but they do know the person is asking students at Melican Middle School to follow them then posting pornography.

Police say they first learned about the social media profile from a mother whose daughter showed her the account.

"We have since learned a number of students, middle school aged students, accepted this person's friend request,” Northborough Detective Brian Griffin said.

Attention parents of middle school age children:The Northborough Police took a report yesterday of suspicious activity...

Posted by Northborough Police Department on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The account doesn’t have a profile picture, and the only description is “MMS 6th grade.”

"I don’t think it’s surprising because i think when people do that, they’re going to pose to try to be as least threatening as possible when they're trying to be threatening" Melican basketball coach Ken MacDonald said.

Parents are also concerned, many said they’ve had to have conversations about the dos and don’ts of social media.

"We know very much about all of her friends, if she follows anybody she only follows who she knows and who she trusts,” Ehab Gabour said.

For police, the concern isn’t just about the kids seeing the images, it’s the concern that they may be enticed to send their own pictures.

"Clearly that's an avenue for a lot of predators to lure kids in,” Griffin said.

Several neighboring police department are also spreading the word, alerting parents to the possible danger.

For more information, you can visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which provides safety and prevention resources for families and professionals focusing on child abduction, child sexual exploitation and Internet safety.