Facebook Alert: Internet scam artist takes advantage of missing teen's mother

7:06 PM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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Pasco County, FL -- When Christina Potwin's daughter disappeared, she turned to social media for help. 

The frantic mother posted the teen's picture on her Facebook page in hopes of finding the 15-year-old, but instead an Internet scammer found her.

"I thought that if I put it out there, someone might contact me or Pasco County Sheriff's Office and let them know that she was spotted," said Potwin. 

"She went above and beyond. I think it was very innovative, the intentions were good. However, there was someone out there in the shadows waiting to exploit her," said Pasco detective David Boyer.

For eight hours, the scam artist -- who went by the screen name Christian Mills -- sent dozens of emails and demanded money in exchange for information about the whereabouts of Potwin's daughter.

"He wanted me to send the money to Nigeria. That's when I found out it wasn't real," said Potwin.

Christina's daughter was eventually found safe at a friend's house. 

Detective Boyer says in his eight years in law enforcement, this is the first time he's ever seen a case like this.

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