Fake producer tricks kids with ‘creepy’ scam
WHEN two mums answered an online ad for their kids to audition for Nickelodeon’s Slimefest — the very last thing they ever expected was to be faced with a sickening scam.
And not just your everyday scam — but a terrifyingly grubby grooming scam that could have robbed their children of their innocence way too soon.
The alluring ad was posted on a buy/sell/swap Facebook page by a man claiming that a new studio had just opened in Perth and they were looking for five kids aged between 10 and 15 years old to get “messy and slimed” with their families.
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As a particular supposed bonus — the kids would get to check out ‘behind the scenes’ of the famous Kids TV channel’s alleged new studio.
Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s because it is and here’s why …
The first key problem with this ad is that there’s not an existing Nickelodeon studio in Perth — let alone anywhere in Australia.
Another important fact to point out is that the last Slimefest to be held Australia was in 2016.
However, this is not to be mistaken for the Slime Cup TV series which children can legitimately apply for through Nickelodeon’s official Slime Cup site.
But unless you did your research — there is no way that you could ever possibly know this.
When Perth mum Cassy saw the ad she twigged immediately that this guy was anything but the real deal because she knew there was no such studio in Perth.
Although she decided to play along so she could warn others — she never anticipated the way the scam would head in such a disturbing way.
The man, claiming to be a studio producer running the auditions, kept pushing to play the “custard game” with her nine-year-old son online so her boy knew “what to expect” at the audition.
“It was when they mentioned ‘the custard game’ that I got really creeped out,” Cassy explains.
“Honestly I thought it was going to be another money scam (I often catfish money scammers and the call them out for it) — but it took a quite sinister turn and since I made the post public I’ve had people inboxing me ads that are the same with different names,” she tells Kidspot.
Since her warning post, Cassy says she has heard from people in Darwin and Queensland — including a Brisbane mum where the communication became much more perverse.
The mortified mum, who did not wish to be named, had a video call with the man who asked her nine-year-old daughter general knowledge questions.
“And if he got it wrong, he poured custard all over himself (fully-clothed) while standing in the shower,” she explains to Kidspot.
“After the questions, he poured custard over himself and he lifted his shirt. It happened very quickly and I terminated the video call.”
“He then later messaged me to ask if my daughter enjoyed seeing him pour custard on himself and if she would be able to make slime and pour it over herself in a follow-up video call via Facebook.”
Then the brazen man had the gall to phone back again later that evening.
“He asked if my daughter was still awake as he wanted to speak to her again. I am absolutely mortified that this happened. Luckily she didn’t realise what was actually his intention, but she did say to me that it was strange.”
The shameless man alleging to be a ‘Slimefest producer’ then vanished without a trace.
“When I checked his Facebook profile, he had deleted it as well as the advertisement on the community page. The next morning, he again advertised on the same page, but using a different name (Lewis). All the messages that were written on Facebook were also removed as his account ‘requires verification’,” she says.
“This was a very scary experience for my daughter (who would LOVE to audition) and for me as a parent. Parents — be aware …”
Official Nickelodeon events are promoted on its television channels, websites nick.com.au and nickjr.com.au, verified social media pages, or via event partners,” a spokesperson told Kidspot.
“Nickelodeon does not promote events or auditions in closed Facebook groups. Any such posts are not affiliated with the company.
“We also provide a kid-friendly online safety guide at http://www.nick.com.au/info/safety.”
Source link – http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/man-posing-as-producer-holds-kids-auditions-for-nickelodeons-slimefest/news-story/19da6880b362b8f6830f37684f796a3b