CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – A Charleston woman was a victim of social media scamming causing her to almost spend thousands of dollars on a defamation lawsuit. Now, she wants people to know how to protect themselves and their reputations.
Jane’s world turned upside down after she received one text this past September that made her sick to her stomach. We are calling her Jane to protect her identity. Her family had sent her screenshots of pictures from her Instagram account which had been posted to a salacious website saying false things about her.
“My heart felt like it was going to fall out of my chest”, says Jane, “I was reading these words just to make the connection that they were somehow about me and out on the internet. I really could not even comprehend it”.
Since that day in September, she has been trying to put the pieces of her life and her reputation back together.
Jane was worried not only about her reputation, but her career as a Human Resources representative was in jeopardy. It was also a learning lesson she now wants to share with others.
“It was kind of a wake-up call for me. My Instagram account was public, so I immediately made it private. I went through my Facebook and although it was private, there were several things on there you don’t even realize was public” exclaims Jane.
Jane called law enforcement immediately after she heard the news. Although Jane chose to not further the investigation, WOWK 13 News spoke with West Virginia State Police about how they proceed with online scammers.
“We’ll try and find that person that’s hacking them or spreading their stuff and we’ll try to talk to them and we’ll try and narrow it down by the information the victim has given us”, says a West Virginia State Police state trooper.
Although Jane’s friends and family know what was posted about her wasn’t true, she still feels violated.
“I equated it to someone breaking into your house”, says Jane, “When someone breaks into your house and steals your stuff, that’s something someone has done to you and you have to pay for it. I felt the same way”.
She wants all social media users to know how to protect themselves. Because once it’s on the web, it doesn’t go away.
Jane encourages everyone to look at their settings and make your accounts as private as possible. Only let people you know personally follow you and evaluate who follows you now.
The salacious profile of Jane is still up on the deep, dark web. However, she keeps peace of mind knowing that those that know her know what is posted isn’t true.