Fake Victoria's Secret Instagram account asks CCU students for photos in lingerie
Students at Coastal Carolina University have been solicited by a fake Instagram account asking for pictures of them in lingerie, according to CCU social media coordinator, Brent Reser.
He said two of his female interns alerted him to the account over the weekend. They told him it was an account with the handle "PINK_CCU."
“They’re asking girls for pictures and stuff, and like, I think that’s kinda messed up," Rachael Schroedel, a freshman at Coastal, said. "They shouldn’t be doing that. I feel like people should be more aware of what they’re doing before they send pictures.”
Schroedel said she followed the account, but didn't send any pictures of information. She said she does know of a classmate who did send photos.
She said, "I saw things that they were posting like send your underwear or something, like your drawers?”
The account has since been deleted.
Reser said the account claimed to be part of the Victoria's Secret PINK ambassador program. It asked students to submit photos of their underwear drawers, as well as pictures of themselves wearing the underwear.
Students were offered gift cards ranging in amounts from $2,000-$5,000, according to Reser. It also asked for their home address to mail the gift card upon receiving photos.
Some students said they thought it was a chance to become a Victoria's Secret college representative. Victoria's Secret does have an ambassador program for college students, but Reser said this account was not legitimate and CCU is not one of the universities in that program.
According to the Victoria's Secret website, "every year thousands of girls apply to be PINK Campus Reps and only a lucky few are chosen. A major resume builder, the PINK Campus Rep program is a great way for influential college girls to gain real world experience while getting an inside look at one of the coolest collegiate brands."
Reser said he knows of at least two students who submitted photos and information to the fake account and there are probably more.
He said school leaders are expected to meet about new social media protocols this week.
In the meantime, he advised any students who see accounts similar, to question their legitimacy.
Many students he talked to said they thought something seemed off about the account because the graphics were poor quality.
He said look at links on accounts and make sure they go directly to the official website. He also said to look at post quality and see if they seem like something an official corporation would post.
If you come across accounts that claim to be affiliated with CCU, Reser said, notify university officials.
We have reached out to Victoria's Secret about this.
Lt. Selena Small with Conway Police said police should always be made aware if a minor was solicited in any way, but she said everyone needs to be careful when responding to requests for any information or photos online.
"We encourage everyone to verify and do research before responding to any solicitation they receive. Scammers are very good at making everything look legitimate. Go to a company’s official website and then contact them directly to verify. This is extremely important before sharing personal information (Identifiers or pictures) and money," she said.
People can report online Internet crime complaints here: www.ic3.gov
She said they encourage everyone to keep up to date on the potential scams at www.bbb.org/scamtips