HAMPSHIRE police are investigating whether someone posing as a nurse is trying to infiltrate community groups in Hampshire via the Internet.
Officers are looking into who is behind the suspected fake profile which has been used to try and join groups on a social media site including the Scouts, and events involving children.
One of the groups – Marchwood Mums – is run by Vicky Mostran who became suspicious when she received a request to join the network.
Vicky, 39, said: “I like to check out who is asking to join. As the administrator of the group I do feel I have some responsibility towards the members although obviously you can’t vet everyone thoroughly.
“We are quite a close-knit group and I didn’t recognise the name. When I looked at the profile there wasn’t much information about who they were and the person didn’t appear to have any friends connected to them.”
Vicky, a mum of two, also searched the image that was attached to the profile on line and found it matched a nurse in America with a different name.
“I knew then it was definitely not right so I reported it to the police. I am not sure how sinister it is as I saw that the person was also trying to befriend businesses and other organisations not connected with children in Marchwood, so I really don’t know what the motive behind this profile is.”
Vicky has issued a warning through her network and it has been taken up by Totton councillor David Harrison who said: “I wanted to publicise it because it is a concern to parents if someone is trying to gain access to a group, particularly if there are children involved. I hope the police discover who is behind this.”
A spokesman for Hampshire police confirmed they were investigating the report.
He said: “Hampshire Constabulary is rigorous in its review and investigation of all reported social media related crime. Hampshire Constabulary continues to encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of any crime relating to social media to contact police.”
Cyber Crime online safety advice is available on the Government's CyberStreet website cyberstreetwise.com/#!/street.