Predator uses fake social media account to 'catfish' Union County teens

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Teen girls in Union County said a sexual predator using a fake profile attempted to contact them repeatedly on Facebook.

Channel 9 learned the man tried to talk to several girls who attend Cuthbertson, Weddington and Sun Valley high schools.

Lauren Brosious told Channel 9 the man, who was using a Facebook profile under the name Dylan Jordan, contacted her a few days ago.

"He added me as a friend late at night,” Brosious said. “I was, like. 'Maybe he goes to my school.'"

The pictures on his account appeared to be taken from the account of a male model who has more than 1 million followers on Instagram.

When Brosious tried to call the man out, he continued trying to video chat with her.

"He tried to video chat me once and I completely got freaked out and didn't answer,” Brosious said.

The man claimed he was from Vancouver but didn’t release any other personal information.

Brosious said she noticed he was already connected with some of her mutual friends on Facebook.

Brosious refused to answer the man’s calls and reported his account as fake. She alerted the model that his likeness was being used.

One of the other Union County girls who received messages from the man answered one of his video calls on Facebook.

The girl, who does not want to be named, said that, when she answered the call, the image of an older man appeared on the other side of the screen.

She said he hid his face and exposed his genitals to the camera.

"It just leaves me sick to my stomach that someone would do that. I don't get the point,” teenager Nikki Gottlied said.

When Channel 9 started digging into the alarming case on Wednesday, the fake Facebook account had been removed.

Some local experts who track down predators said it's extremely hard to catch them, and that the man behind the profile may not even live in the country.

"You're looking at criminals who have multiple identities,” said Mike Holland, who traces cybercriminals. “The operative word is they're going "fishing" for someone on the other end to bite and, unfortunately, all too often they do."

No one has been arrested, so the girls are worried the predator could pop back up under a different name and go after more girls.

Catfishing schemes, in which criminals use pictures of someone else to gain a victim’s trust, are very common in the Carolinas.

"If it was some 13-, 14-year-old girl, who knows? She could've just talked to him and he could've really taken advantage of her," Brosious said.

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