While there are plenty of stories to draw on about serious cyber crime and hacking, such as the Julian Assange saga, documents leaked by Edward Snowden and morally wrong ransomeware, I’m going to focus on a more simpler narrative. This is my experience having my identity replicated by someone else online. And no, I didn’t have my personal or bank details stolen, have my important documents exposed or experience wild viruses. Some tragic 13 year old made a Skype account posing to be me. Tragic, I know. Let me explain.
I was in year ten at school and my sister, Zoe, who was in year nine, had just got together with her first boyfriend Harry (name has been changed for the purpose of this story). Zoe had this one crazy (and a little bit psycho) friend named Ally (her name has been changed for the purpose of this story).
Ally was clearly jealous of Zoe. I could imagine what would have been going through her head – worrying that her once best friend, will pick the boyfriend over herself. Totally understandable. But her way of dealing with all of that was totally messed up.
Ally thought that it would be a great idea to make a fake Skype account, add Harry and talk to him. Yeah, that sounds crazy. But wait, it get even stranger. She made the fake Skype account under MY name! AND included photos from my personal Facebook page! PLUS, she didn’t even have Facebook at the time, so she must have done some real serious talking.
Myself and Harry were made vulnerable by this impersonation and imposter. Ally would ask Harry very intrusive, personal and awkward questions so she could find things out about Harry. Questions like “how many girls have you kissed”, which was a huge deal back in year nine and ten. Harry felt a need to answer her, as, well, he thought that he was talking to me, and didn’t want to come across as rude, weak or backing out.
Many awkward situations arose from this. At school I would happily approach Harry and have general chit chat. He became a little distant but I never thought anything of it. He must have been wondering why I would so happy and chirpy at school, but so serious and straightforward online….
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later I logged onto my actual Skype account. One of my sisters friends sent me a message. It read something along the lines of “Hey Ally, I know it’s you bla bla bla”. I thought to my self, what the hell? Hey Ally? But this is me, Mia.
So I of course replied “ummm sorry, but this is MIA”. This went back and forth for a little while until my sisters friend realised that she screwed up. She blew the cover. And that is how everything revealed itself. After Harry had found out it all made sense! We had a good laugh at the fact that he thought I would so easily say hello at school, but act like a weirdo online. Very strange times and an even stranger girl.
Anddddd there’s my story. Do you guys have any similar? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.