Northern Ireland

School warning over Facebook modelling offer

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Media captionOne mother has spoken anonymously about how her daughter was contacted on the social networking site

The police are investigating claims that a number of school pupils in Belfast have been contacted by a man on Facebook offering modelling work.

The man also asked pupils to set up a Skype account.

Bloomfield Collegiate in east Belfast has sent a warning to pupils and parents about the contact.

They have asked pupils to block any friend request from the man and to delete any online relationship they have established with him.

In a notice posted on its website, the school's vice-principal told parents that a man has approached pupils asking them to "become involved in paid modelling work."

The school's warning added the man was "insistent" that pupils set up a Skype account.

The man also said he would hold a modelling session at a Belfast venue.

The school advises any pupil who has accepted the man as a friend to "eliminate" the online relationship.

The school also asks parents to "discuss this with your daughter to ensure that such a friendship request has not been accepted".

The mother of one pupil who had been contacted said she was surprised at how easily strangers could get in touch.

We are not disclosing her name to protect her daughter's identity.

"It is frightening to see how easily someone could befriend my daughter and could literally chat to them," she said.

"If my daughter wasn't so sensible as she was, they could very arranged a meeting or anything like that very quickly."

The BBC understands that at least one other large Belfast grammar school has issued a similar warning.

Police confirmed that they had been in touch with a number of schools in Belfast about the incident.