38-year-old woman reveals how she tricks online sexual predators into thinking she is an underage girl

38-year-old woman reveals how she tricks online sexual predators into thinking she is an underage girl

A new documentary series reveals how a 38-year-old mother of three from Connecticut uses costumes, makeup and other tricks to convince online sexual predators that she is a teenager so she can track down these men and hand them over to criminals. Authorities.

New Haven’s Ru Powell has dedicated her life to helping law enforcement catch predators who pray for underage girls through her nonprofit SOSA (Protection against Online Sexual Abuse), which she created in 2020.

She has created more than a dozen pseudonyms, each with her own fictitious name and backstory, and at any given time she can talk to 30 ACM (adults in contact with minors).

“I have to be a believable teenager. I have to sell it, but I also collect as much information as possible,” she explained to Fox News.

Once she manages to determine that the man is a threat and identify him, she hands him over to the police.

Her exploits are now the subject of a Discovery+ documentary series called Undercover Underage, which will premiere on February 24.

Ru Powell has dedicated her life to helping law enforcement catch online predators through her nonprofit organization SOSA (Online Sexual Assault Safety).

Ru Powell has dedicated her life to helping law enforcement catch online predators through her nonprofit organization SOSA (Online Sexual Assault Safety).

She transforms into a teenager with a hairstyle, makeup and clothes, convincing predators that she is much younger than she really is.

She transforms into a teenager with a hairstyle, makeup and clothes, convincing predators that she is much younger than she really is.

She also transforms her bedroom with decorations that a teenager likes.

She also transforms her bedroom with decorations that a teenager likes.

"I have to be a believable teenager. I have to sell it, but I also collect as much information as possible," she explained.

“I have to be a believable teenager. I have to sell it, but I also collect as much information as possible,” she explained.

Roux (dressed as a teenager in the photo) has created more than a dozen aliases, and each of them has their own fictitious name, backstory and social media accounts.

Roux (dressed as a teenager in the photo) has created more than a dozen aliases, and each of them has their own fictitious name, backstory and social media accounts.

Ru talks to older men in chat rooms and through direct messages, text messages and FaceTime, pretending to be a teenager, dressing in fashionable clothes, applying shiny makeup, doing athletic youthful hairstyles and using dim lights.

She even transforms her bedroom in front of a video chat with predators, arranging colorful decorations and hanging fake Polaroid photos that depict a high school student at parties or football matches.

Other touches include Christmas lights and posters depicting young stars such as Tom Holland or Harry Styles.

She creates social media accounts for each of her characters, which she uses to communicate with ACM.

One day, she pretended to be a 15-year-old girl named Alex. Her username was @ur_wasian_baby, and her biography read: “15 and love life, Chicago.”

“Alex lived with her father, and her mom came back and went,” she told the New York Post during a recent interview.

“She didn’t like her stepmother and had to go to another school. But she was a regular teenage girl with a regular Instagram account.”

But it’s much more than just creating a social media account and background. Roux explained that her work requires serious preparation and study.

At any given time, she can talk to 30 ACM (adults in contact with minors).

At any given time, she can talk to 30 ACM (adults in contact with minors).

Roux (pictured as one of her aliases) said she's not from law enforcement and doesn't want to do what police or prosecutors do. "As soon as I play my role, I will refuse," Roo explained (pictured as one of her pseudonyms).

Roux (her two aliases in the photo) said she is not from law enforcement and does not want to do what police or prosecutors do. “Once I play my role, I’ll stop,” she explained.

Despite the sheer amount of stress this puts on her, Roux (portrayed as one of her aliases) knows that she has to "stay in character" because she'd rather get through it than a real teenager.

Despite the sheer amount of stress this puts on her, Roux (portrayed as one of her aliases) knows that she has to “stay in character” because she’d rather get through it than a real teenager.

She has to come up with a lot of details, such as an astrological sign, a favorite color, and a pet, to make sure it’s believable.

“We can’t just take a picture, post it on Instagram and see what happens,” she told Fox News.

“Every teenage girl — a real girl — has a very multi-layered life. I have a teenage daughter and she has friends, favorite activities, and extracurricular activities.

“So when we create a decoy for teenagers, we have to give it the same multi-layered life. She has a zodiac sign, a favorite color, a pet with a name — all of which make her a believable person.

“She tweets in a certain way, posts photos in a certain way, and creates TikTok in a certain way. That’s when the messages come in.

Through Instagram, Roux began communicating with a former police officer named Cullen Jones, 45, in March 2021.

After their conversation became sexual and they arranged a meeting, Roux contacted the police and discovered that Cullen was actually awaiting sentencing for previous extortion of sexual behavior/liaison with a minor charge.

He was later sentenced to 10 years in prison thanks to Roux’s work. But once she passes the information to the police, what happens next is no longer in her hands.

While costumes play a big role, Roux also needs to come up with a detailed backstory to make her look believable, recognizing her characters' favorite dishes and astrological signs.

While costumes play a big role, Roux also needs to come up with a detailed backstory to make her look believable, recognizing her characters’ favorite dishes and astrological signs.

"She tweets in a certain way, posts photos in a certain way, and creates TikTok in a certain way. That's when the messages come," she said of her characters.

“She tweets in a certain way, posts photos in a certain way, and creates TikTok in a certain way. That’s when the messages come,” she said of her characters.

Her exploits are documented in the new documentary series Discovery+ Undercover Underage, which will premiere on February 24. Her exploits are documented in the new documentary series Discovery+ Undercover Underage, which will premiere on February 24.

Her exploits are documented in the new documentary series Discovery+ Undercover Underage, which will premiere on February 24.

The image is a collection of Roo's wigs, which she uses to turn into her aliases.

The image is a collection of Roo’s wigs, which she uses to turn into her aliases.

“I’m not from law enforcement,” she explained to The Post. I don’t want to do [the cops and prosecutors’] work, and once I play my role, I don’t interfere.”

Roux has now handed over several ACMs to authorities.

The new TV series reveals how Roo and her team create pseudonyms, link men, track them down, and eventually pass on the information they find to the police.

“It’s very important for us to raise awareness,” she told Fox News, discussing the upcoming series.

“I work in technology and we’ve seen a lot of predators online. And when the pandemic hit, there were more children online and, as a result, more criminals.

“It seemed that not enough had been done, and it also seemed like uncharted territory.

“We weren’t picked up with phones in our hands. Therefore, it seemed that more active efforts were needed to solve this problem.”

Roux (pictured as one of her pseudonyms) helped gather information about a former police officer who was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Roux (pictured as one of her pseudonyms) helped gather information about a former police officer who was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Roux said "raising awareness" is the most important part of the show, and that she wants to end the sigma surrounding online abuse.

Roux said “raising awareness” is the most important part of the show, and that she wants to end the sigma surrounding online abuse.

"I look for any clues when I look at the background. I can't get angry during those calls when there's violence," she said.

“I look for any clues when I look at the background. I can’t get angry during those calls when there’s violence,” she said.

In the photo: one of her fake online profiles

In the photo: one of her fake online profiles

Roux admitted that she sometimes feels “overwhelmed and upset” talking to men, and that her thoughts often “move at a speed of a million miles per minute.”

But despite the immense stress this puts on her, Roux knows she has to “stay in character” because “the price is too high.”

“I look for any clues when I look at the background. I can’t get angry during those calls when there’s violence.

“I can’t break the character. These are perhaps the most tense moments for me. I’m still nervous before every call. And as soon as the bell starts, I have to go through it. There is no room for error here.

She added: “It’s better if I get through this than a real teenager, a real kid.” I am an adult with reasonable coping mechanisms and support.

“I’m less vulnerable. And I’m very worried about that. Our children are vulnerable and our job is to protect them.”

While Roux said she feels a “sense of relief” when she helps put a predator in jail as “they can no longer [pursue] any new victims,” she doesn’t see it as a victory.

She told the Post: “I don’t go around and clink glasses of gin because, at the end of the day, it’s very sad.”

Roux admitted that sometimes she feels "depressed and upset" talking to men, and that her thoughts often "move at a speed of a million miles per minute."

Roux admitted that sometimes she feels “depressed and upset” talking to men, and that her thoughts often “move at a speed of a million miles per minute.”

While Roux (pictured in the series) said she feels a "sense of relief" when she helps catch a predator in jail, she doesn't see it as a victory as it's all "still very sad." While Roux (pictured in the series) said she feels a "sense of relief" when she helps catch a predator in jail, she doesn't see it as a victory as it's all "still very sad."

While Roux (pictured in the series) said she feels a “sense of relief” when she helps catch a predator in jail, she doesn’t see it as a victory as it’s all “still very sad.”

According to Roux, most of the predators she helped catch look like “the men we encounter in everyday life.”

“It could be a person who coaches your child, a community leader, a family friend, someone who has a wife and kids, someone who’s always nice,” she said.

“The truth is, it could be anyone. There is no special profile. It’s not a troll under the bridge.

Roux began her career as a writer for the publication of Adweek in 2010. She’s moved on to advertising, tagline creation, and branding weighing for companies like Whole Foods, Target, Nordstrom, Barnes & Noble, and Stop & Shop.

She became interested in child safety after working on a project for Medium about the “ubiquity of predation on the Internet.”

Aside from scaring off predators, one of the main reasons she created SOSA was to try to end the sigma around abuse.

She told Distractify, “The biggest reason people aren’t reported, and the biggest reason kids don’t get support, is because they’re gripped by shame.

“In fact, the goal is not to point out the criminals one by one, but to enable the whole society to fight it.

“It starts with awareness at first, and I think this show does a really good job of it.”

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