Ex-model claims she is a survivor of the alarming online trend known as e-whoring.
A British Instagram model is suing after her photographs were stolen and sold online in an unscrupulous new trend dubbed e-whoring.
“It's as if those years of my life influenced who I am,” former glamour model Jess Davies, 27, told BBC Three's latest documentary "When Nudes Are Stolen."
According to the BBC, an investigation discovered that sultry images of the Wales native had been swiped and sold to catfishers for as little as $15 per "box." (A catfisher entices someone into an online relationship by the use of a fictitious online persona.) These social media scumbags then spread the snaps around the internet for use in bogus social media profiles, pornographic websites, and even advertisements for escort services.
Davies first became aware that she was a victim of what she later learned was referred to as e-whoring when she shared a picture of herself in a forum and inquired if anyone had seen it before.
Within seconds, she received a response advertising the selling of a pack of 100 ill-gotten photographs of her. “It makes me feel gross that he knew me,” lamented the devastated Instagram influencer with nearly 150,000 followers, who was astounded that anyone would ruin her life "for $15."
According to a Daily Mail article, longtime cyber specialist Scott McGready called the trend "anti-women," claiming that scammers traded naked photos as if they were "trading baseball cards."
The scandalous photos in question were taken during Davies' brief career as a glamour model, which started when she was just 18 years old. As part of her deal, the aspiring cover girl was asked to take risqué selfies and topless shots for her magazine's membership site, which made her feel very uneasy.
And, though Davies has since withdrawn from modeling, the site's photographs have been used to porn-swoggle unsuspecting men from the United Kingdom to the Philippines.
“Some of these men can be very ruthless,” lamented the blonde.
And they didn't stop at disseminating images from Davies' website. The former model recounted one particularly heinous incident in which a guy she slept with photographed and shared naked pictures of her without her permission.
“'He went to take a shower, so I checked his phone,' the besieged victim explained. “He had photographed me nude in bed as I slept and texted them to his parents, saying, 'I just slept with Jess Davies.'
To add insult to injury, Davies received “rude” and “abusive” messages from social media cretins, which she attributed to the internet's dehumanizing impact.
“I agree that if this occurred in real life, in the market, people would not believe it,” the former glamour girl said, “but because it occurs on the internet, people don't care, it's fair game, and it's really your fault.”
Determined to ascertain the source of the heinous attention, Davies tracked down reformed New York scammer Aku, who was recruited at the tender age of 13 by a catfishing ring.
“E-whoring is a type of fraud. You're defrauding people and seeking to use them for your own financial benefit," he said, adding that he finally "renounced it" out of shame.
Nonetheless, the identity theft economy continues to thrive. The “When Nudes Are Stolen” team also discovered an elaborate online program devoted to teaching sleaze merchants how to amass photographs, as well as the people most susceptible to scams.
“It looms large in my mind. There are people out there who are using these images to scam people, and I feel helpless to stop them,” Davies explained.
She believes internet Samaritans can make a difference by saying, "'Hey, that's not cool. That, I believe, is incorrect. Perhaps you should remove that.' That is a good place to begin.”