Reality reads ... "I was stalked online"

12:00AM, Jan 2 2007

14-year-old Claire, had heard all the warnings and horror stories, but never thought internet stalking would happen to her ...

INTERNET HISTORY
I'd been using the internet for about four years, mostly for study and to talk to friends on MSN, mainly people I already knew. I'd never met up with anyone I'd chatted to online, and before Jack* I'd never had any bad online experiences.

CHAT TIME
It all started innocently when I was home from school one day last term with glandular fever and was chatting to a friend from San Francisco. Suddenly, an unknown email address added me as a contact to their MSN list. The email address gave me the impression that the person was a teenager, so I added them to mine, assuming that it was a friend or someone I'd met at a party. A few days later, Jack, started talking to me. He started off asking normal stuff such as, "Hey, ASL?" (Age/Sex/Location), and I replied saying 14/F/Australia. His display picture was of a guy that looked about 16 with no shirt on and holding a rugby ball. He replied saying, "Cool. I'm 17/M/QLD."

PHOTOS, FLASHING AND CYBER SEX
He kept asking me questions over the next few days such as where I lived exactly, how far I had gone sexually and asking for photos of me at school, with friends, and to go on webcam and flash or have cyber sex with him. Of course I wouldn't tell him, and said no to all his requests, as this guy seemed a bit edgy and I was definitely not going to do anything with him. Something I thought was a bit odd at the time was how he kept calling me names like "Darl" and "Honey", which seemed to be things that my grandpa would call me, not some random teenager I'd just met over the net. It was when he asked me to meet up with him, that I thought something was really up, so I blocked him and deleted him off my list.

HACKED IN AND HACKED OFF
Things just got weirder from there. I was on the phone to my good friend Bec one night while we were both on MSN, and she told me, "Claire, someone's logged onto my account and signed me off". On my contact list her account was still up as online so I begun talking to "her". The person then asked me to send him or her photos of me and friends in bikinis, and for cyber sex, and I immediately said no, and then the person replied saying, "Come on Darl". I knew then that it was Jack.

The next day about 20 other girls in my grade said they'd also had problems with the exact same guy, all being pressured into stripping for him, asked for photos, cyber sex and to meet up with him. We realised that he must've hacked into someone's account (six girls thought that their account had been hacked into) and gotten the list of all the girls' contacts and started talking to them. We were all pretty scared and talked about it amongst ourselves before confiding in our parents.

SORRY JACK, YOU G2G
We eventually told our head of year and vice principal, and she organised the youth liaison officers from the local police station to come around and talk to us. As we all gave statements, using the information we had about this guy and the copies of all the conversations we had with Jack, we were warned never to send photos to anyone you don't know. The officers told us that it's very common for people to cut out the faces from photos and place them on pictures of naked bodies for pornographic websites. The police were suspicious about Jack's real age. He just had lots of things about himself that didn't add up, such as the use of old fashioned language. Jack didn't seem to be up to date with any common slang, for example I would say "G2G" (Got To Go), which most people who use MSN are familiar with, and he would say, "What?" as if he was confused. After we'd given our statements, we left it up to the police, but we held a year meeting telling everyone to block and delete Jack's address.

BUSTED
A few weeks later, the police notified us that Jack had been caught, and turned out to be a 50-something year old man from Queensland, who had been harassing young girls over the internet. We weren't told whether he had committed any crimes beyond harassment, but he was charged with various offences against us (we weren't told what category the crimes he had committed were under either). And even though we don't know if he's been convicted, we're all happy that this sick man has been punished for what he's done.

LOGGING OUT
If anything, I'm glad that what happened has taught everyone at my school a very valuable lesson - don't trust ANYONE you meet on the internet. They can be the complete opposite to what you expect and can cause you serious harm. The internet isn't always safe, and there are a lot of scary people out there.

*names have been changed

More reality reads ...

"I was abused, bullied and almost killed myself"
"I was drugged at school"
"I took my dog to my year 12 formal"
"I break bones when I walk"

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 

just in

 

Dolly HQ Blog

Natalie Babic

DOLLY HQ

3:56PM, Nov 18 2014 Natalie Babic

Nat talks about growing up in the noughties.
Edwina Carr

Don't ban "feminist"

1:50PM, Nov 13 2014 Edwina Carr

Time magazine reckons we could do without it, but Beyoncé and I disagree.
Rikki Hodge-Smith

Frenemies forever

4:34PM, Nov 12 2014 Rikki Hodge-Smith

DOLLY's Rikki explains why frenemies are a good thing...
 
 
more from the team
dolly instagram
  • It was our editor, Lucy's birthday yesterday and she found this on her computer screen today! Hello, Mr Theo James... To see how the team decorated her office, check out: @lucyecousins

    dolly It was our editor, Lucy's birthday yesterday and she found this on her computer screen today! Hello, Mr Theo James... To see how the team decorated her office, check out: @lucyecousins

    more from the team
  • Obsessed with this pic of our two favourites @anselelgort + @taylorswift at the #AMAs

    dolly Obsessed with this pic of our two favourites @anselelgort + @taylorswift at the #AMAs

    more from the team
  • So many awesome albums have been released this past week. What are you guys listening to? We can't decided what to listen to next!! 🎶

    dolly So many awesome albums have been released this past week. What are you guys listening to? We can't decided what to listen to next!! 🎶

    more from the team
  • EVERY MONDAY! 😂 What did you guys get up to over the weekend?

    dolly EVERY MONDAY! 😂 What did you guys get up to over the weekend?

    more from the team
  • Today DOLLY's @mattygalea_ crossed a major item off his bucket list as he met @theveronicasmusic and saw their mind blowing performance. Oh, and there may or may not have been hugs involved. Rock on @jessicaveronica & @lisa_veronica!

    dolly Today DOLLY's @mattygalea_ crossed a major item off his bucket list as he met @theveronicasmusic and saw their mind blowing performance. Oh, and there may or may not have been hugs involved. Rock on @jessicaveronica & @lisa_veronica!

    more from the team
  • If you're a big #1D fan, you would have woken this morning to see they dropped their #nightchanges video overnight. It actually feels like you're on a date with them! And who knows, with the boys arriving in Australia this week, this feeling might not be just a dream! RG @MTV #OneDirection

    dolly If you're a big #1D fan, you would have woken this morning to see they dropped their #nightchanges video overnight. It actually feels like you're on a date with them! And who knows, with the boys arriving in Australia this week, this feeling might not be just a dream! RG @MTV #OneDirection

    more from the team
  • Last Friday night... DOLLY's @_natbabic and @gyanyankovich were lucky enough to see Katy Perry in concert - and probably sung along louder than anyone else there. Thanks so much @cotypraustralia for taking us! WE ❤️KATY!

    dolly Last Friday night... DOLLY's @_natbabic and @gyanyankovich were lucky enough to see Katy Perry in concert - and probably sung along louder than anyone else there. Thanks so much @cotypraustralia for taking us! WE ❤️KATY!

    more from the team
  • The weather is heating up, so keep cool with @factorie's new summer threads coming at you soon! #factorie

    dolly The weather is heating up, so keep cool with @factorie's new summer threads coming at you soon! #factorie

    more from the team
  • Do we love cronuts? Yeah, we do! Just not as much as we love these new Maybelline NY products, which are launching in February 2015. @mnyau #mnyau #DOLLYbeautyloves

    dolly Do we love cronuts? Yeah, we do! Just not as much as we love these new Maybelline NY products, which are launching in February 2015. @mnyau #mnyau #DOLLYbeautyloves

    more from the team
  • HAPPY HUNGER GAMES! 
Mocking Jay Part 1 hits cinemas today and we are so excited!! YAY! To celebrate the Beauty Team have found the best make-up to get J-Laws look from the latest #Dollymag. Oh, and may the odds be ever in your favour. #DOLLYbeautyloves #thehungergames #mockingjaypartone

    dolly HAPPY HUNGER GAMES! Mocking Jay Part 1 hits cinemas today and we are so excited!! YAY! To celebrate the Beauty Team have found the best make-up to get J-Laws look from the latest #Dollymag. Oh, and may the odds be ever in your favour. #DOLLYbeautyloves #thehungergames #mockingjaypartone

    more from the team