AN Internet scammer is being hunted by police after posing as tragic schoolgirl Keane Wallis-Bennett to talk to children.
The unknown user posted pictures of the teenager, who died last year, on a fake profile while chatting to youngsters online – labelling one of the snaps a “selfie”.
And now international policing organisation Interpol is investigating following claims made by the troll regarding family links to the mafia.
Keane Wallis-Bennett was just 12 years old when she died after a free-standing concrete gym wall collapsed at Liberton High School last year.
Devastated mum Abbie Wallis said the news someone had been impersonating her daughter online was “sick and disturbing”.
The 35-year-old said: “I don’t know where this person got hold of Keane’s photos – this is so disrespectful to her memory.
“If any of our family or Keane’s friends had found that profile they would have found it extremely distressing.
“If it’s another child posing as my daughter, that’s very sad and I hope he or she is made to understand the hurt this can cause. If it’s an adult, it’s extremely sinister. I hope the police find out who’s behind it.”
The scam came to light after a mum in Canada contacted Ms Wallis through her Facebook page to warn her. The Canadian’s daughter, who is also 12, recognised Keane whilst talking to the imposter online.
The scammer uploaded photos of the tragic teenager to a fake Instagram account in February using the name Alex, with one picture captioned: “I got nominated for the selfie challenge”.
Ms Wallis said: “Her 12-year-old daughter sent a message confronting ‘Alex’ about the photos, and a reply said her dad is in the mafia and the family had to fake their deaths to be safe. The lady in Canada told me she went to the police and they’re very concerned.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating following a report of the fraudulent use of a person’s identity in online accounts. Inquiries into the full circumstances are ongoing.”
Earlier this month the Evening News revealed Liberton High was among four schools set to benefit from £150 million council plans to improve the city’s education facilities.
The school came under fire again in February this year when a 12-year-old boy broke his neck after the goalposts he was swinging on collapsed during a PE lesson. Alan Ramsay was left with bones sticking out of his mouth and neck after jumping up to swing on the two-metre high goalposts.
But mum Louise – a former pupil at Liberton – said money should have been pumped into the beleaguered school “a long time ago”.
Liberton High, Trinity Academy, Balerno Community High School and Wester Hailes Education Centre have all been shortlisted for possible demolition or upgrades.