Belfast Telegraph

Warning issued after fake Belfast Fashion Week Instagram account contacts young girls asking for pictures

Local models take part in Fashion Week every year. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Local models take part in Fashion Week every year. (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

The director of Belfast Fashion Week has issued a warning to aspiring models after a fake Instagram account was set up asking girls to send pictures.

Cathy Martin said the account had been set up under the name '@belfastfashionweek19' and had been approaching young girls asking them to send bikini and formal pictures "to be considered for modelling".

She said the account was using a logo from the legitimate Belfast Fashion Week and had contacted a number of girls to ask if they were interested in taking part.

The account has now been reported to the PSNI, but it is still active on Instagram under a different name.

Ms Martin said that she wanted to urge people of any age, but particularly young girls, interested in modelling to remain extra vigilant.

The fashion expert said that fake accounts targeting young girls were "potentially dangerous".

She asked anyone who is contacted by an account purporting to represent Belfast Fashion Week to make direct contact with her before doing anything.

"You have to be careful with these sort of things especially in these hairy and scary times," she said.

Ms Martin said that any respectable agency usually conducts its business via emails and through telephone calls, and not via social media.

"If we were holding a casting call and a model was under the age of 18 we would always request that they have a parent or guardian present," she said.

Cathy Martin Fashion Week organiser. Picture by Freddie Parkinson ©
Cathy Martin Fashion Week organiser. Picture by Freddie Parkinson ©

Belfast Fashion Week is Ireland's longest running fashion event and is now in its 26th year.

A number of local models feature at the event every year with a number of top brands also taking part.

The PSNI has been contacted in relation to this story.

The fake account. Credit: Cathy Martin.
The fake account. Credit: Cathy Martin.

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