Nova Scotia

Teens too revealing online: police

Police in a Nova Scotia town say they've uncovered some disturbing facts about the online habits of teenagers, thanks to several student spies.

Police in a Nova Scotia town say they've uncovered some disturbing facts about the online habits of teenagers, thanks to several student spies.

The Truro Police Service hired four university students to pose as young teens and create fake profiles on Facebook.

Pretending to be new to the area, the phoney teens visited fan sites of various junior high schools in the Truro area and asked to be friends with 296 students, all between the ages of 12 and 17.

Only two refused, police said.

Const. Todd Taylor said it was disturbing to see how eagerly the younger students offered personal information.

"They're putting up home phone numbers, addresses, the fact that they're home alone, where they're going to be.  And all this information is accompanied by photographs," he said.

Police said there were photos of minors using drugs and alcohol, and some teens wearing bikinis.

Invitations to visit at home

One of the undercover agents said he was offered personal information without even asking.

"We had one person and she revealed that her father was RCMP. That could be a little bit dangerous because say I was someone who didn't like police," said the summer student, who cannot be identified.

Police said 35 students invited their new "friends" to visit them at home.

Officers are planning to visit schools in the Truro area to talk about the dangers of sharing too much information on the internet.

Taylor said pedophiles take advantage of such easy access to information.

"They use these sites as a sort of catalogue," he said.

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