‘Fake Justin Bieber’ Arrested for Sextortion 03 May 2012 by Matt Liebowitz, Security Daily News – alert
Christopher Patrick Gunn, 31, of Montgomery, Ala., was arrested on March 20 on two counts of child pornography, Mississippi’s Sun Herald reported. Gunn’s arrest stems from a police investigation revealing that, since 2009, he had been posing as the pop star, as well as a host of other people, in his scheme to trick girls between ages 9 and 16 into exposing themselves online.
A new indictment filed this week charges Gunn with 10 counts, including sexual exploitation of a child and interstate extortion. The particulars of Gunn’s scheme serve as a cautionary tale to anyone, especially susceptible teenagers, about the perils of Facebook and especially about communicating with strangers in the anonymous world of the Internet.
Gunn began his sextortion scams by contacting girls, in states including Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, California, Michigan and Virginia, through Facebook and claiming he was new to the area, Ars Technica reported. After striking up online conversations with the girls who responded, Gunn, using one of seven Facebook aliases, and names including Dalton Powers and CJ Harper, would ask the girls about their bra size and sexual experience.
He then demanded they send him topless images; if they didn’t, he would send the explicit information they’d already provided him with to their parents, friends and school officials. But Gunn wanted more, asking the girls to send him fully nude pictures or webcam footage of them performing sex acts.
Ars Technica said at least one 12-year-old girl sent Gunn a photo, while a 14-year-old and 15-year-old each performed sex acts for him via Skype.
The FBI said Gunn eventually ditched the “new kid in town” act and pretended to be Justin Bieber “looking to meet some of his young fans.” Through fake Facebook pages, the indictment states, “Gunn would offer them free concert tickets, backstage passes, or some other fan-related benefits if they would agree to send him a webcam transmission or a photo of themselves with their breasts exposed.”
It’s crucial to remember that a cybercriminal, or someone looking to extort you, can easily mask their identity online, and that the person you think you can trust may in fact be someone very different from who they say they are. If someone is trying to blackmail you online, report that person to the police, and never supply any personal or financial information, or pictures, to someone you don’t know.