MA: Nock Middle School student faces identity theft charges

I looked at this news article because it struck me as unusual that a middle school student would be charged with identity theft, but after reading the story, it struck me that this may be more properly understood as a case of online harassment.  But then I realized that impersonation accounts can be used for financial scams, too.  Dave Rogers reported:

A Nock Middle School student must appear in Newburyport Juvenile Court after local police issued him a summons Tuesday on an identity theft charge.

The 14-year-old boy created a fake social media account using the name of a fellow student, police said.

He then used the account to harass the same student. The girl eventually notified school and police officials, who conducted their own investigations, according to police.

Read more on Newburyport News.

This morning, CBS News did a segment on people’s images and names being used on Instagram for fake accounts that are used to scam lonely people out of money or to scam those who are vulnerable. A few people interviewed in the segment pointed out that they had reported the impersonation accounts to Instagram weeks ago but the accounts were still up. And of course, Instagram issued a statement about their dedicated team, blahblahblah.  Yet Facebook admits that impersonation accounts make up approximately 5% of all accounts, which is a huge number of individuals being impacted.

If you are concerned about possible impersonation or misuse, go to images.google.com,   and click on the camera icon in the search box. Then upload an image or provide the url where you posted an image of yourself or someone in your family, and see where else that image may have been used or showed up. The results will include similar images based on a number of factors, but see if there are any exact matches in places or for uses that were not authorized by you or your family.

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