VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WVEC) – A mother received numerous lewd texts and sexually explicit images from a random phone number and now police are investigating.
Jennie, who did not want to disclose her last name, said it started about a month ago.
“The very first one was ‘I want to get deep inside of you,’ Jennie read. “I responded ‘Who is this?’”
The conversation carried on, soon getting aggressive. It resulted in both exchanging expletive language. Then sexually explicit photos followed, Jennie showed 13News Now.
“I was crying after a while and my husband had to calm me down,” said Jennie. “My children have iPods and iPads that go off my phone, so I had to quickly check on them.”
The mother worries that what she did online in prior months might be connected. Jennie said she was contacted by a man on Facebook explaining how his mom passed away.
“It was never sexual anything, this guy is like in his 70’s or 80’s,” Jennie explained.
She says she gave him her number. That’s when the mysterious messages came, but she had no way of proving who was behind the text. That's when she eventually blocked the number.
Jennie called Virginia Beach police. According to court documents, the number was traced back to an app called “textPlus.” Police are requesting information from the company in California.
"I called police because this is blatant sexual harassment and cyber harassment," said Jennie.
Once a number is generated from an app, it can be hard to trace, tech experts say.
“It’s not traceable directly back to you,” said Daniel Ferrell, Cybersecurity Engineer with Sera-Brynn “It goes back to the company. So it’s the company’s responsibility to do the login and validation for those users to know who’s who and if they don’t collect that information, it’s simply unavailable, so a police search warrant’s only going to get but so far.”
Jennie says she has hope the culprit will be found, but she wants her situation to serve as a warning for others.
“Be VERY, VERY careful who you give your phone number to,” Jennie said.
13News Now reached out to textPlus for comment, but have not heard back.