While posing as a Snapchat representative, authorities said a Pennsylvania man tricked women to get access to their nude photos.
Once he got their naked photos, he sold them as part of his years-long scheme, according to a Sept 19 news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Now, the 34-year-old man from Pottsville has pleaded guilty to obtaining information from protected computers, records show. His defense attorney told McClatchy News he would not be commenting on the case until his sentencing.
Authorities said that from February 2020 to February 2022, the man accessed dozens of women’s accounts to look for and take their nude photographs.
“(The man) acknowledged accessing victims’ Snapchat accounts at the behest of ‘clients’ who paid him to break into the accounts and obtain the images,” authorities said. “(He) admitted that he accomplished this, in part, through use of an app that allowed him to send text messages to victims posing as a Snapchat representative.”
Then, authorities said the man would coax the victims into changing their passwords and sharing the generated verification code with him, according to the release. Once he got the codes, he could access their Snapchat accounts, take their photos and sell them, authorities said.
The man’s scheme was valued between US$40,000 (RM187,480) and US$95,000 (RM445,265), authorities said.
He faces up to five years in federal prison.
“Exploiting our community like this is disgusting, illegal, and against our policies,” a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement to McClatchy News.
“We have safeguards in place that make it harder for strangers to find and contact our community and offer two-factor authentication to further protect Snapchatters’ accounts. We will never ask Snapchaters for their passwords, so if anyone sees this type of behavior we urge them to use our in-app tools to report it to us immediately, in addition to reporting it to law enforcement.”
Pottsville is about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service