By Anne-Marie Green
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Have you been the target of a “creep shot”? It’s a 3 On Your Side warning for women.
Creep shots are pictures taken without your knowledge.
They’re intimate and revealing and may end up on the internet for anyone to see. Anne-Marie Green started looking into this after an outraged 3 On Your Side viewer wrote to us.
They are suggestive photos and they are shot in secret. But it’s happening in plain sight, in places like the supermarket or the post office or on the subway. There are creeps lurking in the library. The person behind the camera could be nearby when you’re out for a walk with your child.
They’re taking so-called creep shots. The pictures and video are taken by voyeuristic men.
Many of them are now sharing the pictures on the web and on popular sites like Reddit and Twitter. And it doesn’t stop there.
A surveillance video from a convenience store in Texas shows a man brazenly holding his phone under a woman’s dress.
The woman is Fallon Fraker and when she found out, she confronted the creep.
“I chased after him in the parking lot and demanded to see his phone and the pictures and asked him why he was taking pictures of me,” said Fraker.
It’s happened in our area too. A year ago, a man on SEPTA was arrested after taking so-called upskirt photos of a sleeping passenger in a skirt. And a US Airways pilot was busted for shooting up the skirt of a 15-year-old at Philadelphia International Airport. Both men were convicted of invasion of privacy and received probation.
But not all creepshots are illegal. Rob Di’Vidio is a criminal justice professor at Drexel University. He says there isn’t much a woman can do about pictures being snapped and posted on websites.
“It’s a very, very difficult thing to shut down especially when a majority of these photos on these creepshot websites don’t fall within the parameters of the law,” said Di’Vidio.
That’s because most laws say you can shoot anything that’s visible in public.
Upskirt shots are illegal but other creepshots are not.
Reddit recently acted to take down a creepshots category but others have popped up. And these photos are easier than ever to get with smartphones. There are even spy-camera apps.
It looks like a Facebook page, but the picture is being taken in a small area of the screen.
People around the creeper won’t even notice. So what can you do?
Experts say you should be aware of your surroundings, especially when on an escalator, or stairs.
Check to see if someone is too close to you and maybe aiming a phone at you. And if you see your photo online, you can try to contact the website and ask them to remove it.
These sites operate by flying below the radar and much like creeper victims, they are not interested in any extra attention.