BRADENTON -- In February, Tracy began receiving calls and texts from unknown men responding to a Craigslist ad.
They’d send her flirty text messages, racy photos and show up at her Bradenton home wanting to go on a date with the 40-year-old.
One problem: Tracy never placed the ad.
Her ex-husband’s wife Natasha Larson did, Bradenton police say.
Never miss a local story.
Larson, 34, was arrested Thursday and charged with criminal use of personal identification information -- a felony -- and admitted to creating the ad and a fake email in Tracy’s name, according to an arrest report.
“Natasha Larson admitted that she had spoken with several unknown persons through email inviting them to meet her at the victim’s home address for a sexual encounter and giving out the victim’s personal cell phone number,” the report said.
When the text messages started, Tracy said she wasn’t sure what was going on.
“I was in shock at first. I thought someone had the wrong number,” said Tracy, who didn’t want her last name identified.
She recalls the conversation that tipped her off about the ad.
“He texted me and asked me if I was online and I said, ‘Who's this?’ and he said we were supposed to meet up this weekend,” Tracy said.
The man told Tracy they had been emailing back and forth for a few days on Craigslist. That’s when Tracy asked the man if they could speak over the phone. During their phone conversation the man read the post to Tracy.
The ad, posted 12:28 p.m. on Feb. 18, starts off by introducing Tracy and explains that she is in a relationship but looking to have outside relations with her boyfriend’s approval.
“Please feel comfortable calling anytime,” the ad reads. “I look forward to hearing from you! Fun, Fun, Fun. You’re also welcome to stop by our home ... .”
The ad ends with Tracy’s address and a warning: “Please be respectful if you do stop by.”
Tracy said she asked the man to forward the ad to her actual email.
“I told him, ‘Someone pulled a dirty prank on me,’ ” she said. “He was embarrassed.”
Tracy said she knew of six men who tried to contact her because of the ad by either texting, calling or visiting the house.
“It’s been very scary for me and my children,” she said.
The post has since been taken down.
“I knew immediately who it was because of problems we’ve had,” said Tracy, who added there was nothing said between the pair that would have provoked the post.
Tracy then had to tell her boyfriend, Matt. She lives with him along with Matt’s daughter, 14, and two of her three children, an 11- and 13-year-old.
“She had tears in her eyes,” said Matt, 39. “It was upsetting, very upsetting because strange people were coming to the door and just not knowing what was next. It was nerve-racking.”
After two men stopped by the house, Tracy posted a sign on the door stating that the ad was fake and inquirers should leave.
She also changed her phone number so the text messages would stop.
With the help of the Bradenton Police Department, Google provided the IP address for the Gmail account used in the fake email and were able to track down Larson, according to the arrest report.
Det. Kevin Bunch of the Bradenton Police Department said Larson was “very callous” about the post when he interviewed her and said she insisted that it was a joke and “didn’t look at it like a big deal. She’s sending people online to where her husband’s children are.”
Larson runs a day care at her Sarasota home, according to Bunch, who said he is trying to confirm if she is licensed.
She was released from Manatee County jail Thursday on a $1,500 bond.
A reporter could not find Larson for comment at her known address Saturday afternoon.
In the meantime Tracy is living in fear that her information was made public.
“I’m pressing charges, but I would like to see her do a little bit of time,” Tracy said. “She is acting like it was a joke. To me putting someone’s life in danger, especially children, that’s not funny. That’s not a joke.”