What if one of your closest friends stole your identity, pretended to be you on social media and messaged your friends?
That happened to a former student at Seminole Ridge High School in Palm Beach County.
Amanda Alonso and Justin Cage weren’t just friends, they were best friends.
On Wednesday, they met in a Palm Beach County courtroom.
“He pretended to be a friend to me, a close friend to me,” said Alonso in court.
Amanda confronted her former friend, now transitioned into a woman going by the name Justine.
“I hope he realizes how much it affected my entire life, every aspect of my life.”
Alonso’s nightmare begins at the beginning of high school in 2010. She found fake social media accounts using her name and her picture. The person using the account would not only message boys at school, but others across the country. Even sending fake pornographic images found on the internet.
“I had people contacting me from like Texas, saying I was talking to them,” says Alonso.
In 2014, deputies tracked the account through an IP address. Justin confessed to creating the profiles telling deputies “It’s hard put it in words. It’s like I know I can’t have it because I’m not in the body, the right body.”
She was charged with criminal use of personal information and cyber stalking. She took a plea deal Wednesday that included six years probation, two years house arrest, no social media and no contact with Amanda or her family.
“People that are committing these crimes, it needs to end,” says Amanda’s mother Gloria.
Amanda and her mother are now taking this opportunity to not only spread awareness, but ask for tighter laws when it comes to identity theft on social media and using pictures.
“Lawmakers, our representatives need to get involved because it’s a real problem today, a real problem in our schools,” says Gloria.
That’s the next step for Amanda and her family, to make some kind of change. Hopefully in an effort to move past their own nightmare.
“It was very hard and no one should have to go through anything like it,” says Amanda.
Alonso says her first step is to write letters to area lawmakers.