More parents are coming forward after two Wake County moms said their children were the victims of Instagram imposters. While some accounts have been closed down, they said these imposter accounts have been plaguing students at one school for months.
After Haley Boyer shared her family’s experience of someone impersonating her 13-year-old son on Instagram, CBS 17 learned that more people have filed police reports.
“Since your story aired last week, I have been hearing story after story of families who have been affected this way,” Boyer said.
Parents said that over the past several months, at least four students at Thales Academy in Rolesville have had Instagram accounts opened using their names. They said those accounts have sent inappropriate messages or sexually explicit photos and videos to underage girls.
Gina VanBenthuysen believes her 13-year-old daughter was one of the first to receive one of the inappropriate messages back in February.
“My daughter came to me completely devastated about the fact she received a very explicit video through her Instagram account,” she said.
That Instagram account was later closed, but when Gina learned last week other students were still receiving messages from different imposter accounts she says she filed a report with Rolesville police.
“It makes me nervous for all the students because obviously this isn’t going away,” she said.
The Wake County Sheriff and Wake Forest Police confirm they are also investigating reports of a child receiving sexually explicit photos through Instagram.
Despite reporting it to Instagram that someone was impersonating her son, Haley Boyer said Instagram initially would not close the account. Itt was closed late last week — not because it was an impersonation account, but because it was reported as spam.
The mother of another student at the school said an imposter account in her son’s name remains open even though she’s reported it to Instagram multiple times.
CBS 17 has reached out to Instagram multiple times since last week to ask about this situation, but hasn’t received a response.