DODEA principal warns of social media ‘scam’ requesting ‘inappropriate material’ from students
Stars and Stripes May 26, 2023
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The middle school principal at this airlift hub in western Tokyo is advising parents to monitor their children’s social media for inappropriate messages.
Principal Hilary Simmons, in a post Wednesday on Yokota Middle School’s Facebook page, said students were solicited via “private message” to share “inappropriate material.” Her message did not explain what the messages entailed.
“While this is not a school-related matter in that it did not occur on our school campus, this scam has impacted some of our students,” she wrote.
Yokota’s 374th Airlift Wing referred questions to the spokeswoman for Department of Defense Education Activity-Pacific, Miranda Ferguson, who declined to provide further details.
In her message, Simmons said parents of children “affected by this scam” should contact the base’s security squadron.
Simmons offered several pointers.
“Be mindful of what you post, including personally identifiable information or PII,” she wrote. “Remember: anything you post can be captured on a screen and shared to a wider audience, even if your account is private.”
Watch out for suspicious messages and accounts, Simmons said. “Not everyone is who they say they are on social media.”
Parents should be aware of their children’s social media activity and talk to them about social media safety at home, too, she added.