A controversial vigilante group claiming to expose pedophiles is being sued for defamation by two separate men - one of whom is now sharing his side of the story with CTV News.

Everything has changed for Peter Ferguson and his wife after an encounter with the Surrey Creep Catchers last summer.

He answered a personal ad on Craigslist in the strictly platonic section from a poster reporting to be 18, suggesting the pair go to karaoke.

“She said, ‘Okay, but the only thing is I'm 15,’ and so I said, Well okay, there's no age limit for karaoke that I'm aware of,’” Ferguson said.

When he went to meet the poster at a Surrey coffee shop, Ferguson says he was greeted by the Surrey Creep Catchers instead.

“[They] implied I had some sort of sexual agenda, even though I have the whole chat log and there’s nothing sexual at all,” he says, noting the video of the encounter was posted on the Surrey Creep Catchers website.

Then Ferguson and his wife began getting phone calls at the franchised tutoring operation they owned, and the video was also sent to the company. Ferguson, a long-time teacher, was asked to leave, and the couple eventually sold the business.

“My life as it was before is over, basically,” said Ferguson, noting he became depressed and even suicidal.

“One person said I should be incinerated, set on fire - the comments about me were such that I was afraid to leave the apartment.”

CTV News tried to contact the Surrey Creep Catchers, but they said they didn’t want to speak with a reporter.

Ferguson now intends to sue the group leader Ryan LaForge for defamation, as is a second man targeted by the group. Along with the legal action, B.C’s privacy commissioner is also investigating a complaint against the Surrey Creep Catchers.

Looking forward, Ferguson hopes he and his wife can one day rebuild their lives.

“We lost our whole business, and we lost basically our life savings,” said Ferguson “It’s been a disaster.”

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Maria Weisgarber