Dubai: The victim of an identity theft known to many as Jackie or Jacque talks of her devastating experience after a comment was posted in her name on the social networking site, facebook, saying that the severe typhoon that battered Manila is "deserved".
The 31-year-old marketing executive in Dubai was battered with thousands upon thousands of messages, e-mails, and phone calls about the comments that said: "It's a good thing I'm here in Dubai. There might be a lot of sinners back there Philippines. So, yeah, they deserved what happened."
This has devastated the life of Jacqueline Bermejo, a Filipina, who has had several days of sleepless nights and is constantly scared of being in public due to frequent threats and calls she is receiving.
"I received messages threatening my life and my family's. My reputation is completely affected and I constantly have nightmares. I just want it to end," she told Gulf News in a phone interview.
For about two years Jacqueline has been facing the unfortunate nightmare as somebody created these accounts using her identity, posting personal details, and pictures.
"I have been abused and am still being abused online in social networking websites such as facebook, Friendster, Multiply etc," she said while urging public to be aware of what they post online as it could be used against them.
Her facebook account was deactivated following repeated incidents but she was requested by the police to establish an authentic account to clarify her case among her friends.
On Sunday, she received a phone call from a friend regarding very alarming posts on the above websites that directly offended typhoon and flood victims.
Subsequent faceback groups have been made in response to the comment including threatening calls to her sister and letters to her employer.
"I too, have become a victim as much as those who may have lost their lives and properties to such a devastating natural calamity. I have a deep respect and regard for my country. I am proud to be a Filipino and would never say or do anything to harm the interests of my country or countrymen," she said in an emotional tone.
According to Major Saeed Al Hajiri, director of Dubai Police department combating cyber crimes, "It is definitely a case of identity theft. The victim reported the case in November of 2008 whereby accounts have been created on facebook under her name."
The matter is still under investigation by the police, he said while refusing to disclose whether they have information about the identities of the people behind this act.
"We are aware of her case and we are constantly in contact with the victim and we have seen the posts written in the accounts in her name. We are working on tracing the people behind this which could take time."