Cassidy Wolf, the newly crowned Miss Teen USA, is at the center of an FBI "sextortion" investigation after she claimed that someone hacked into her personal computer's webcam and snapped photos of her.
Fresh off her Aug. 10 title win, Wolf, a 19-year-old recent graduate of Great Oak High School in Temecula, Calif., spoke with NBC's "Today" show website last week to discuss her platform — the scary reality of cyber crime.
Wolf says it all started about four months ago when she received a notification from Facebook saying someone had tried to log on to her account from a different state. She then got an anonymous email from a strange man saying he had hacked her laptop's webcam and taken photos of her. If she didn’t comply with his demands, he would make the photos public, Wolf recounted to Today.com.
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An FBI spokesperson told The Associated Press that the hacker demanded nude photos
in exchange for not sharing the other pictures. The AP reported a suspect has been identified but no arrests have been made.
Wolf can't say much else about the case because the FBI is currently investigating but she hopes that sharing her story will help prevent the same thing from happening to others.
"This all happened before I had a title," Wolf told Today.com.
"I was just a normal girl in high school. This next year I’m just so excited to be able to share my story and raise awareness in young teens about what can happen."
Last month, Karen "Gary" Kazaryan pleaded guilty to running a "sextortion" scheme that targeted 350 women and coerced them into sending nude photos of themselves to him, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Kazaryan reportedly hacked into people's Facebook, Skype, and email accounts and changed their passwords, locking them out. He would then comb through their emails and other files for nude or semi-nude photos and names of their friends.
Prosecutors say he would pose online as the women and convince the friends to remove their clothing so he could take pictures. Once the victims learned that someone had impersonated their friend, Kazaryan would use the photos to coerce them to remove their clothing on camera.
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