'Sextortion': Blackmailing Women into Sending Revealing Photos - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

'Sextortion': Blackmailing Women into Sending Strangers Revealing Photos

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Here's a tip.. if you don't want naked pictures of  yourself circulated on the internet… DON'T TAKE NAKED PICTURES OF YOURSELF. Having said that, I do realize that for a certain segment of the population there is an irresistible urge to document yourself in various stages of undress to share w/ a loved one, boyfriend, girlfriend, stranger, Guinness Book of World Records, whatever.

If you do that , however, don't be surprised or complain when some unscrupulous hacker , someone you might even know, hacks into your email account or even your phone and uses those pictures against you.  We're reporting on a 30 yr old from Glendale on todays' 5pm news who is accused by the Feds  of doing just that, and he's looking at 30 counts of identity theft and computer fraud.  It's alleged he victimized some 350 women over a period of years, by hacking into their emails, searching for compromising photos.. finding em, locking the true owner out of the account, and then blackmailing em w/ the photos.. threatening to post em on FB or email em to their parents, if they didn't' send him even more pix.

I know I know.. a bit out of our mainstream day to day behavior, but hey it's a big crazy world out there and there are all kinds of predators trying to take advantage of people, particularly younger women who may not always think before they press the shutter.   

So.. there are things you can do to protect yourself if you want to engage in risky social media behavior.. make sure your passwords on all your accounts and devices are complex and difficult… that's the simplest thing. If you're a victim, you can go online ( of course ) the ic3.gov which is the governments Internet Crime Complaint Center.. where, supposedly, our friends in the FBI and other law enforcement agencies go, to monitor crime reports and more importantly look for similarities and patterns so they can build ( bigger) cases against bad guys. 

 Phil Shuman

Fox 11 News

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