22 Nov 2013

Online conwoman jailed over tricking teens

7:18 pm on 22 November 2013

Police are warning people to be extra careful when trying to form relationships and friendships using the internet.

Natalia Burgess, 29, has been sentenced in the Manukau District Court to more than two years' jail for using photos of girls to make money.

Acting Inspector John Robinson told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Friday Burgess created a false identity and lured boys on social networking site Facebook. She tried to make money by claiming that she had a daughter and needed money.

Mr Robinson said people need to be careful of what is said online.

"Our desire to be loved and liked and wanting to have friends and our belief that the magical person has arrived online - it's such a beautiful story. But for all those, so much of it is just simply lies."

He said the teenage boys involved felt ridiculed, embarrassed and shamed.