Good thing this was reported to police, because who knows what this stranger would be asking for next! The below story from central Indiana appears to be an isolated incident, but it is still an excellent lesson in how to talk to your kids about social media use.
FISHERS, Ind. (WTHR) – Police in Fishers are issuing a warning to parents after several middle-school aged children received messages on social media requesting pictures of their hands.
All the reports came Tuesday and Wednesday, each with a similar pattern.
Police say the stranger, using the name Tyler Schultz, would ask if he could befriend the students then ask them to send him pictures of his hands. All of the recipients of the messages were boys.
“We don’t know what his intent is but it is obviously suspicious and he is a stranger to these kids so they should not be communicating with him,” said Fishers Police Sgt. Tom Weger.
At this time, police say the interactions are not criminal in nature but want to remind families of some safety tips and resources when using social media:
Make certain your social media platforms are set to the highest security settings. We encourage you to check these settings on a regular basis. These settings can be changed by the owners of the individual platforms and they are not required to notify the user.
Please be aware of your children’s activity on social media. Check their devices often and talk with them about the dangers of social media.
Do not engage in conversations with strangers. Any information you divulge could potentially be used for criminal activity.
Immediately report suspicious activity to your local police department. This applies to all types of suspicious activity. Immediate notification allows officers to quickly address and resolve the situation.
“At this time we don’t know what this person’s exact intent is but we do believe this could be a way of introducing himself to children and making them more relaxed in communicating with him. Therefore it could lead to other types of photos,” said Weger. “This gives us a great opportunity to remind parents and families the importance of being careful.”