Accused Social Media Scammer Tricked More Than 350 Victims
A Queensland man has been charged with computer hacking and extortion offences as police work to contact more than 350 potential victims of his alleged social media crimes.
The 31-year-old from Geebung was charged on Wednesday after a seven-month investigation.
It is alleged the man was in possession of unauthorised personal images after allegedly hacking victims' social media accounts.
Police claim there are more than 350 potential victims nationwide.
The images relate to young adult females with an "active social media presence", Queensland Police said in a statement.
Police allege the man approached his victims online using a compromised account, posing as a "friend of a friend", via a messaging platform, Detective Senior Constable Ben Johnson said.
The accused then asked those he targeted for help to recover an email address, and asked the victim to provide a 'recovery code' for the account.
It's alleged the man then initiated a password reset.
From there he allegedly accessed the victims' personal photos, data and other files.
Police believe the accused then threatened his victims.
"This behaviour is a serious crime, and as this investigation shows, one that police take very seriously," Johnson said.
Police are working to contact the victims, the majority of them are believed to be females aged between 18 and 30.
Detective Inspector Vince Byrnes said there are a number of victims from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
"When you are contacted by someone that you can't see, check to see if that message is coming from your friend," Byrnes warned.
"Don't assume that because it is online that it will be from your friend."
The man has been charged with six computer hacking and two extortion charges.