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Fake ad offering sex with minors gets over 6,600 views in 4 days: Durham police

A man uses a computer keyboard in Toronto, Monday, Oct. 9, 2023 in this photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

A fake online ad offering sex with minors was visited more than 6,600 times in four days and received messages from over 600 different phone numbers, Durham police say.

Durham Regional Police said Project Firebird is an ongoing project that focuses on people interested in purchasing sex services from people under 18 years old.

Undercover officers pose as young individuals on the internet as part of the project.

The initiative also provides education and support to victims or potential victims.

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“An ad was published to create the illusion that individuals can purchase sexual services from minors,” police said Thursday. “The ad was visited 6,678 times in a four-day period and received messages from over 600 different phone numbers.”

Officers arrested five people this month and laid 15 criminal charges.

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Anyone with information about the case or similar instances was asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

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