A Durham woman was "blindsided" to learn her Facebook photo was used by a Bowmanville man to allegedly lure a child online, York Regional Police say.
Police say the woman contacted investigators shortly after police issued a news release with the photo used in the alleged child luring case.
"It came as a shock to her," Const. Andy Pattenden told CBC News. "She was blindsided by this happening and is now just trying to deal with it."
The woman does not want police to release her identity.
"She now could potentially be a victim in this case of impersonation or false pretenses," Pattenden said.
Additional charges could be laid against the accused in connection with the use of the woman's photo, he said.
The 40-year-old man has been charged with two counts of luring a person under the age of 16 by means of telecommunication. He appeared at a Newmarket court Tuesday. Police said on Friday he has been released on bail.
Pattenden said there is no direct relationship between the woman and the accused, but would not comment on how the photo was obtained since it is a part of the ongoing investigation and may be evidence before the court.
Fake profile used, police say
Police say the investigation began in November 2015 when a mother in York Region told police she found what she considered "inappropriate" chat messages on her 12-year-old son's Facebook account.
Investigators with York Regional Police's internet child exploitation unit said they determined that the boy had been contacted on Facebook by a person posing as "Jennifer Jackson," a 25-year-old woman.
Police determined that the Jennifer Jackson profile was fake and was allegedly being operated by a 40-year-old man from Bowmanville. Police searched his residence Thursday and arrested him without incident. A number of electronic devices were seized.
Pattenden cautioned social media users to be aware of how public social media accounts are and who has access to them.
"You really got to be careful on social media and locking down your accounts. And any photos that you post could potentially be used for malicious purposes," he said.