Denver police are investigating a new trend: adults using pictures of children found on the Internet to fulfill a role-playing fantasy where strangers pretend to be a child and an adult guardian.
"It disgusted me," said Amber Kozak, who told The Denver Channel that her daughter's photo was used in a role play. "I was like, 'For what? Like, why would you do that?' It seemed sick."
The news station reports these fake adoptions occur with the use of photos found on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. It is commonplace for parents to post photographs of their kids and that gives these strangers, in most cases, easy access to the pictures.
Beside the creepy role play, a detective told the station that these interactions, which are sometimes called 'adoptions,' can turn sexual and even violent.
"There's so many things out there that, to a lot of us normal people, just turn our stomachs," Mike Harris, the detective from Jefferson County, told the station. "But there is a world of fantasy out there that people utilize."