I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and told this story to anyone. When I decided to share this story I made a voice note just to tell the story and get the timeline right and boy was it a long voice note. 17 minutes to be precise. So straddle in, this will be a long and cautionary tale.
I was seventeen when a creeper made my life hell online. Okay so I need to start with a back story or I might lose some of you. Back then we just started to recover from our big financial knock – we were homeless for four months. I was in my second last year of high school and old enough to start looking for a job. So I did just that. I made a post on an online site similar to Craigslist. High school student looking for a part time job. The idea was to get a babysitter job but I was open to a shop assistant job and everything that I could balance with my school. I attached a picture of myself – which I’ve learned was a big mistake. Now I got quite a bit of response on my advert and I think only three was about an actual legit job.
“Do you want to be a nude model for us?”
“We pay … for a sex scene!”
“Will you come babysit me?”
I quickly became a little bit more aware of what attraction I was getting. So for these people to sneak through my cracks just shows how well their little operation runs. A women reached out to me with a very professional email stating what she does, where she works and what she needs from me. She proceeded to tell me how my salary would work and all in all the entire thing looked very professional. She had a website attached to the email, a real address – which was about a two hour drive away from my house but as I would only work online everything seemed perfect. The email address she contacted me with all worked with the website and so called business. The website didn’t look out of order. It might be a real business with a real website or it could be a front website. I’m not entirely sure. I don’t have any of the details anymore.
So I responded to the email absolutely enjoying this big job opportunity. It was online and the job at the time seemed to be legit. I do want to add now I can clearly see all the warning signs so I feel a little silly for not noticing anything dodgy earlier. Anyway so she gives me my first big job. My job was to reach out to a potential client and convince them to sell their rare coins. I was instructed what I had to say and their contact details. I did as she constructed me to do, I send the man a very professional email about his coins. He responded with a photo of the said coins but changed the subject to me. He wanted to know more about me. Where I go to school, how old I am and requested a photo of myself. At the time I didn’t think too much about it. I would like to think I didn’t tell him where I went to school but I’m not sure. I shared my age and the same picture of the advert from before. He responded with the usual compliments and I didn’t think much about it. He was very clever with changing the subject away from the coins and toward anything else he could think of. I went along with his conversation and it came to a point where I was receiving emails from him nearly every day. It staid innocent for quite a long time and so he gained my trust. Back then I was writing werewolf novels for an online website, Wattpad. Around this time I’m exploring my sexuality. I was in a relationship with my second boyfriend and how do I put this without sounding like a complete bitch. Well let’s say I wasn’t completely satisfied and my werewolf stories featured some heavy sex scenes. Although to the standard of what you get out in the world it’s so vanilla. Think of a sex scene in a normal romantic movie. Some kissing, some naked leg and maybe you get a boob and then the screen goes black and we go straight to the next morning. Okay so anyway back then no one knew about my Wattpad account. I didn’t like the idea of my family and friends reading my stories so I kept it quite under the raps. Not much has changed since then as I still don’t like family and friends reading my novels. Well Onno doesn’t count but it took him a year to get access to that part of my life. Okay I’m going slightly off topic.
As you might have guessed, I told this man, let’s call him James my Wattpad account details. He looked me up and showered me with comments about my writing style and asked a little about this so called steamy sex scenes but I didn’t add fuel to fire. I changed the subject and brought the coins up once more. The conversation didn’t stay innocent for very long when suddenly I got an email from him with an attachment. James shared that another women contacted him that works for another company about his coins and she was very adamant to get it from him. Let’s just say it was a very here is my nearly nude body in skimpy underwear shot. For the first time a small warning bell rang but not loud enough because I changed the subject and brought it back to the coins but at the same time I contacted the original employer, let us call her Anna. Anna responded nearly immediately and simply said I should give him what he wants so we can get the coins. She reminded me of the so called big pay day. I found her response very strange. James contacted me almost the same time I got her email threatening to go for the other girl as she is willing to provide other services. By now I finally caught on about their little game and I wanted out. I responded to his email stating that I wasn’t interested in the coins and he should just go for this other girl. James immediately responded trying to sweet talk his way into receiving a similar picture from me but I wasn’t having any of it. I stopped answering his emails and it kept coming. It took him exactly five emails to get angry and so the threats started.
The email I was using had my full name and back then my Facebook was as public as it can be. So he typed my name into Facebook and used the information he found on their against me. He knew my friends names, my mother’s name, my brother’s name and close family members. He started emailing me their names and information he found on their public profile. I was scared at this point. I was scared for my friends and family because who knows what this person will do with this information. He knew I was scared but not scared enough so he pulled out his final card. He made a website.
On this website he had all my information he found on Facebook and then some. My school, my age, my hometown, my height, my age, my full name and my profile picture which was the same picture I used on the advert that attracted this creep. Not only that, he had a little snippet of my so called steamy scene from my novel with some changes. My name and his name was now the main character with a little paragraph stating that I’m not who I seem to be and I wrote this hot story to arouse my older lover. He furthered the blow by attaching three pictures of naked women pleasuring themselves with their hair in their face. Their hair color was similar to mind and at first glance, well in my panic and afraid state, it could be seen as me. I was horrified. Attached to the link of the website he threatened to send this email link to every student he can find that goes go to my school.
I was mortified at the idea how massive the scandal would be. Teenagers can be ruthless and I was already bullied, it made my blood drain cold. It didn’t occur to me that my close family and friends would know these women isn’t me as I had tattoos already and that would be my giveaway. I cracked at this point and told my mother about what was happening. She was understandably very upset and almost immediately drove me to the police. Although the both of us knew that nothing would happen, no one will be punished but we hoped that us reporting the accident would be enough to scare the man off. I told him just that.
“I went to the police. Please stop contacting me.” I blocked that email after getting enough evidence for the police. Only a few hours later I got an email from the Anna who was very disappointment in me as I just lost this big client and how she would never work with me again. I never responded to her email. Not long after her email I got a email from a new email address. Another…(my email address)@gmail.com. I immediately knew it was James. He was livid. The email went along the lines off:
“How dare you block me! The police can’t stop me. If you don’t send me a nude picture in the next two days I will send that link to every single person you know.”
That night I deleted every single social media platform of mine including Wattpad. I didn’t want him to find me or get any more information he can use against me. The next morning we saw the school guidance counselor who couldn’t really do anything for us. There was nothing we could do. If this man wanted to send this link to everyone he can find with a public Facebook profile that goes to our school he can. I walked out of her classroom not feeling like any of my problems were solved and I was still scared of what might happen next. In between I was getting all my facts and evidence straight to hand over to the police. I felt like if I had the police call or email this guy he will back off. While all of this was happening he was sending me links to the website, listing my friends who was going to get his message first. He attached screenshot of their profile and it scared my shit-less. At this point I was in a complete state. I had no idea what I should do or how to get myself out of this mess. I responded with his email trying to sound, or well type as bravely as I could. I lied through my teeth. I would do anything to scare this guy off. My dad was in the army and he has a lot of guns. My step dad’s father used to be the police captain in this town and he still has contacts. My mother is a big mommy bear and she will come for you.
“The police has taken my case in consideration. They have suggested that I break off all contact from you. This will be the last time you hear from me. Please refer to the police department of… for further contact.” Something along those lines. I blocked that email address before he could respond and for the next two days I waited in complete angst. I waited for that link to spread like a wildfire. I was trying my utmost best to mentally prepare for the horror most likely to unfold. I would check on the website every now and again, I couldn’t help myself. Not even 8 hours after my last email the website shut down. It was no longer an existing website. I knew at that very moment that he fell for my bluff. The big day arrived and nothing happened. I was cautious for a week or two. A big part of me knew that it was all over but I couldn’t relax. It took me a few months to open my social media accounts and even longer to restart my writing.
I have no idea who James and Anna is and I now know the two of them are most likely one person. I also know deep down in my heart that I wasn’t the first girl they did this too nor would I be the last. I can only hope all of the girls could escape their claws and none of them actually showed their bodies to fight of their threats.
The moral of this story is just to take caution. Listen to your instincts and be open to those warning signs because in my case it was there at the very beginning. If something is too good to be true, often it is. These creepers don’t just lurk around in movies, they exist and are torturing young girls in real life. After the incident I will admit I was a little afraid. It took me a long time to use my real name publicly. I know this man could find me quite easily if he wants to today but I also know that I’m way smarter than I was back then and no one will be taking advantage of me this way around. The internet has so much good to offer. There is no way I’m going to allow some creepy guy in his mother’s basement to ruin that.