They’re calling it “sextortion.”
The “sextortionist,” so to speak, was a man in California alleged
to have hacked into an untold number of Facebook, Skype and email accounts,
all to perpetrate a scheme involving impersonation and coercion.
His goal was to get women to send him naked images, and if what the feds
are saying is true, the 27-year-old seems to have largely succeeded, as
he was able to procure around 3,000 images from more than 350 women.
The 27-year-old man, after having hacked into the accounts, changed the
passwords and then began his impersonations. As Andrew Blankstein reports
for the Los Angeles Times, the man would pose as the woman on her Facebook
account (which he’d hijacked), reach out to her friends and “coax”
them into taking off their clothes.
He would then take pictures.
He would also blackmail women into baring their breasts on Skype, or post
naked pictures of them on Facebook if they refused.
Federal authorities charged the man with 15 counts of computer intrusion
and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft, according to the Los Angeles
Times, and could get more than a century in a federal penitentiary if
convicted on all counts.
It’s somewhat surprising that there are no apparent charges for sex-related
offenses, given the sexual nature of this case, although the feds are
generally picky when it comes to charging a defendant for crimes that
can be proven with solid evidence.
This law firm often handles sex-related offenses that take place online.
To learn more about our practice, please visit our Baltimore
Internet chat room crimes page.