Police are warning of a scam.

According to a safety alert from Washington State University, they've gotten several reports from co-eds who received a call claiming their cell phone's have been hacked and their most "intimate moments" are about to be exposed on the internet.  ​
It's called sextortion and it's spreading across the web almost too fast for authorities to track.​
 
KHQ spoke with one survivor who's sharing her story with the hope she can stop these predators from ruining more innocent lives.​
"As a whole it was great. WSU was the best decision I could have made for myself. Being a cheerleader opened up a lot of doors for me for relationships, for self-growth, I met all my lifelong friends," former WSU cheerleader, Alyssa Hawley said. "I would leave my house and not think twice, I'd be in public and I wouldn't be constantly looking over my shoulder."​
Then one day, sitting in class, her sophomore year, she got an email. ​
"So I clicked on it, and porn came onto the screen," she said.​
Alyssa's face had been photo-shopped onto naked women. The flood of disturbing images and messages kept coming.​
"(It was) horrifying. There's so much anxiety every time I open my computer that I didn't want to do my homework I didn't want to check my grades because I just didn't want to log in," the former cheerleader said.​
The assault on her identity was inescapable. Messages were sent to her social circles. ​
"I think the first person that came to me that got sent to was a couple of guys on the Wazzu baseball team," she said.​
Coaches, friends, professors and even her family began receiving the images.​
"Walking to class, I didn't want to make eye contact with anybody. I was just so embarrassed because of the whole situation that I thought every single person knew...I completely understand why people commit suicide. I was so consumed and so emotionally drained every single day," Alyssa said.​
The attacker escalated his campaign of computer-generated terror, sending messages like this one:​
"Hello ms. Hawley. I am writing to request that you do your best to enjoy the coming days. After that, I'm going to hunt you down. I'm going to cause you pain like you've never thought possible...​"
Threats to end her life were sent from multiple fake email addresses and phone numbers:​
"Hi alyssa! I want to squeeze your neck and watch you fade away forever, I'll keep your body for my own.​"
"I didn't go to the police for a while. And that's one of my biggest regrets I think is that I tried to handle it myself," Alyssa said. "I think that the pullman pd in my opinion had never dealt with something like that before, so they didn't know what to do." ​
Alyssa also filed reports with the Snohomish Police Department and the Seattle Police Department.​
"I think they all tried but after months of trying without getting anywhere, they did give up," Hawley said.​
The sextoration campaign against Alyssa started back in 2015 when local police departments had few resources to combat what was then a relatively new  kind of computer-crime. Today, as many as one in 10 scam emails use some sort of sex threat, according to computer security firm Barracuda Networks.​
In Alyssa's case, the attacker was relentless. ​
"We changed my email two times. I had to change my email to an alias email. He found that one," Alyssa said.​
The messages were cruel, preying on her position as a cheerleader.​
"In his emails, he loved to reference that, saying that I'm making my school look bad. I'm a disgrace to Wazzu," she said.​
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, with no clues to who this predator was.​
"I turned crazy. I was not myself for a solid couple years," she said.​
She struggled with constant fear, shame and suspicion.​
"I genuinely questioned every single person around me," she said.​
Then, in 2017, her ordeal ended as it had begun -- with an email.​
"I was sitting on the floor watching TV and I got an email from the detective that has been working on this case. I opened it and I just started crying," she said.​
When the arrest happened, it wasn't in Pullman but at a home nearly 1,500 miles away, in Rochester, Minnesota.​
Federal agents captured Eric Robert Bouldan after three women athletes at the University of Colorado reported they had been victimized, just like Alyssa had. In all, prosecutors suspect Bouldan of using fake email accounts to terrorize at least 50 college and high school students across the country.​
"I hate him. I have no respect for him. I think he's disgusting. I don't think he should be getting any attention at all because he didn't win. I won this. I'm not in jail and he is," Alyssa said.​
Bolduan was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the Colorado crimes. But so far, there is no closure for Alyssa's case. As she waits for waits for justice, she focuses on how her experience has had positive outcomes.  ​
"Unfortunately it takes a situation like this to get the ball rolling and to get people familiar with the steps that need to be taken," she said. "I feel stronger in myself knowing that if I can get through something like that then I don't think there's much that I can't get through."​
There's no telling how many fake photos of Alyssa are still out there. Her Facebook page is flooded every day with messages and friend requests from people who've seen them. Despite that, she refuses to let that stop her from living her life.​
She is look for counseling and support groups. They exist on many college campuses, even if they aren't always publicized. And keep fighting and advocating for yourself, Alyssa said.​