La Porte students targeted by stranger on Instagram, authorities say

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Authorities in Northwest Indiana are warning parents about someone using Instagram to target students attending La Porte schools. (WLS)

Authorities in Northwest Indiana are warning parents about someone using social media to target seven students in one school district.

La Porte County Sheriff's Captain Michael Kellems says the online predator, claiming to be a 42-year-old man, targeted seven students on Feb. 7, 2016. He said the questions were specific and personal.

"Was interested in knowing how old they were, which schools they went to, which places that they lived," Kellems said.

Kellem said the person created three Instragram accounts using the names "vines_again", "jjjjjrt5" and "tommy_coldheart". All the accounts have since been deleted.

Authorities said six of the students who were contacted attend Kesling Middle School, and one attends La Porte High School. Six of the seven students contacted were girls, and all were under the age of 15.

"You don't know who you're dealing with. It could be one of their friends playing a joke. It could be an adult predator," a Kesling student told Eyewitness News.

Police notified La Porte schools late Monday afternoon and hope word will continue to spread. The sheriff's office says this case is an opportunity to remind parents to talk to their kids about what they're doing on social media.

The La Porte County sheriff's office continues to investigate. Any other students who received similar attempts at contact are encouraged to contact any of the three deputies assigned to schools in La Porte County.
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