Two women have told how they felt humiliated after a teenage fraudster hacked into their Snapchat accounts and conned their friends into sending him money.
Jasin Bushi was sentenced to two years behind bars at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday, July 25, after being found guilty of a number of cyber crime offences including three counts of blackmail.
The court heard that between December 2020 and February 2021, Bushi hacked into seven women’s Snapchat accounts. He then changed the victim’s login credentials preventing them from regaining access.
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At first, he tried to convince some of the women’s friends to loan them money, directing them to a PayPal account that he controlled.
When some of the intended victims realised it was a scam, Bushi, 18, tried to blackmail them instead. He claimed to have nude images of them which he would send to all their contacts if they didn’t send him money.
Intimate pictures or videos of the victims which had been stored in the private area of their Snapchat accounts were posted on a number of occasions. These posts were seen by the victim’s friends, family and colleagues. Bushi denied posting the images – a claim that the judge accepted.
He pleaded not guilty to three counts of disclosing private sexual photographs or films, with intent to cause distress, these charges were left to lie on file.
One victim, whose friends, family and colleagues saw the posts, said she felt humiliation and shame when she has had to face family, and had withdrawn socially at work and thinks her staff have lost respect for her.
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She said: “Snapchat was a social media platform where I had years of stored treasured memories of photos and videos of my child, and I now feel nauseated using the app.
“I had a friend who, thinking she was helping me, lost a significant amount of money due to this incident and I feel indebted to her. I was fortunate enough to not be physically injured by this incident, but the long lasting psychological effects impact me every day, and I feel that this is likely to be the case for a long time in the future.”
Another victim found out about private intimate images of her being posted in Snapchat while she was at work after her colleagues informed her.
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She said: “I felt embarrassed, I left the office straight away in tears and had a few days off work because I felt I couldn’t face the people who have seen those private images. The feeling still haunts me now of when I first saw those photos on my public story, I would never wish that feeling upon anyone.”
Detective Constable Ed Sehmer, the investigating officer from the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Bushi completely violated the victims’ privacy all in an attempt to make a quick bit of cash. When his deception did not work, he resorted to blackmail. He is extremely cruel, callous and it was absolutely devastating for the victims who had their intimate images publicly posted.
“I’d like to thank the victims for courageously helping us with our investigation and I hope Bushi’s conviction offers them a small measure of comfort”.
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