350 female victims: Police charge alleged online predator
A 31-YEAR-OLD Brisbane man has been charged with extortion after allegedly hacking into the social media accounts of more than 350 young women.
The Geebung man allegedly approached victims online by pretending to be their friends and convincing them to handover their own account details.
It will be alleged that once he was given access, the man initiated a password reset on the victim's account, requesting the verification code from the victim.
The victim provided the code, unaware they were enabling a password reset on their own account, allowing the offender to access and gain control of the victim's account.
Detectives from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group, State Crime Command today charged the man with six computer hacking and two extortion offences following a seven-month investigation.
The victims included three in Queensland.
It will be alleged the man accessed their images through their social media accounts.
An examination of a number of seized electronic devices identified there are more than 350 potential victims nationwide who have had their personal images compromised.
It will further be alleged the images relate to young adult females with an active social media presence.
It will be alleged the man then attempted to access other online accounts, including email and social media in search of photographs, often of an intimate nature, and threatened to share the images unless the victim met his demands for more intimate images and videos.
"This behaviour is a serious crime and as this investigation shows, one police take very seriously," Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence said.
"Investigators are continuing to identify and contact victims in relation to this matter and would like to speak with anyone who feels they may have fallen victim to this criminal activity or may have information that could assist our inquiries.
"We ask the community to remain resilient to this type of offending. Ensure your privacy and security controls such as passwords are effective.
"Always be wary of online communications and maintain control of access to your devices and accounts.
Ask yourself if you are in control of your personal information, be wary of any unsolicited messages or emails of this nature, speak to your friend to confirm the message is in fact from them."