Hijab House, an Australian modest clothing store which sells headscarves and burkas/abayas, has had its name misused by a person posing as a worker for the company.
The unknown predator has been pretending to be affiliated with the brand and directly messaging underage customers asking them to send pictures of themselves for modelling purposes.
The account @hijab_house, with 525,000 followers, has seen around 900 of its young female customers targeted by the culprit, who promised them a modelling career in modest fashion.
The predator has been asking for the underage girls to send pictures of themselves uncovered and in suggestive poses like pretending to orgasm.
View this post on Instagram
To our followers, we really need your help. Please read: Recently theres been a scam targeting young hijabis. An account has been pretending to work for us and has been manipulating young hijabis into sending inappropriate things via DM. They claim to work for Hijab House but they do not. Since we first found out about this issue, we have had about 900 girls approach us about it. Swipe to see some examples (warning: some explicit language). The account has been blackmailing young hijabis: forcing them to do things using threats, asking them for personal details, making stalking claims, intimidation, bullying and downright harassment including sexual harassment. If this is not enough to remove an account @instagram then what is? Whats worse is that the police wont get involved because its “not enough”. Whats even worse than that is theyre using our brand name as a means of taking advantage of the followers we love the most (@instagram doesnt seem to have a problem with this kind of impersonation). After hundreds of reports to @instagram, they still have not shut down the account and have not blocked the user from the app. The scammer is using multiple handles that constantly change so theres no point in tagging them here because theyll just change their account again. This also is not an isolated incident. Its affecting thousands of young women, some experiencing severe anxiety and fear. So we need your help to spread the word. Share, tag, post to your story, do whatever you can to spread awareness about this issue. Were using the hashtag #protectyounghijabis. Tell your friends, sisters, followers, everyone. The only way to stop this is if we get enough people to become aware of the dangers of cyber harassment and the dangers of this account. If youre a parent, have a conversation with your children about staying safe online. If youre a child, always be comfortable to talk to your parents about online harassment. If youve been personally affected by this account, please do let us know and we can try to help. No one messes with our followers. We wont let that happen. Please spread the word. HH
A post shared by Hijab House (@hijab_house) on
Hijab House alerted its large following when some of the girls sent screenshots of the conversations they had with the person, who had several different Instagram accounts.
Recently theres been a scam targeting young hijabis, they explained. An account has been pretending to work for us and has been manipulating young hijabis into sending inappropriate things via DM. They claim to work for Hijab House but they do not. Since we first found out about this issue, we have had about 900 girls approach us about it.
The conversations often go for weeks and theyre done in a way where trust is built up. Its all tailored to each specific girl, her life, and her online presence. They pretend to be Hijab House, and they have a verification message from us thats been falsely created to show that hes a consultant for us.
From one account, the predator said to one of the girls: Now is the real love part, you just need to achieve an orgasm/sensualness while kissing your mothers shoes.
The creepy messages have led to some girls directly messaging the main Hijab House account and asking them to verify the fake seller.
Since then #ProtectYoungHijabis has become a hashtag being shared all over social media to bring attention to the perp.
Hijab House has told authorities about the different accounts being made to target young girls but has seen little support.
Reporting and blocking the accounts is not enough, they said, as the person can make a new handle and contact a new customer of the brand.
After contacting Instagram and local authorities, a representative of the brand went to the Australian Federal Police who put out a public statement.
They said to news website 10 Daily: We have received reports of an individual posing as an employee of the company and asking the young people – many aged between 13 and 17 – to provide sexualised images of themselves. These photos are then used to blackmail the victims into sending further images. The AFP is currently assessing the matter.
We have contacted Hijab House for comment and will update the article when they respond.