The word ‘kidnapping’ is one all parents fear. It is essentially a parent’s worst nightmare. In today’s day and age, where everything is posted to social media, not only are teens tweeting and making statuses but parents are too.
Often times, proud parents will inundate their newsfeeds with photos and updates about their kids’ accomplishments. But what parents don’t realize is that their social media activity could be exposing their kids to a whole new kind of kidnapping threat.
An alarming trend known as digital kidnapping is becoming more and more of a concern for parents of young children. It is a form kidnapping where photos are stolen from personal social media accounts and re-posted to fake accounts. The re-posters act as if the stolen snapshots are of their own children.
Digital kidnapping became a very real nightmare for one mother in Dallas. According to Yahoo, Danica Patterson was sent screenshots of her daughter’s pictures on someone else’s social media page. The person behind the fake account, Ramon Figueroa, was posting pictures of Patterson’s daughter to seem like she was his own.
After seeing the horrifying profile, Patterson contacted a lawyer who advised her to get a hold of Facebook. Despite her plea, Facebook told the little girl’s mom that Figueroa’s profile wasn’t breaking any rules. She then contacted Ramon Figueroa herself, all he did was block her.
It wasn’t until Facebook was contacted by a local news station that the social media platform decided to take action. The photos were finally removed from Figueroa’s page. Despite this, his profile remains active and he could easily do the same with photos of other children.