Teenager arrested after meeting with undercover agents
It has emerged that a Florida teenager - Jeremy Kamperveen - was arrested in late November by Broward County Sheriffs after attempting to bribe Senator Lauren Book, with supposedly explicit photographs of her.
Kamperveen, aged 19, claimed to have images of the Senator and contacted her with the intention of extorting $5,000 in return for them.
A cyber sting-operation
After he approached her online with the intention of extorting money in return for not publishing the photos online, Senator Book enlisted the support of federal agents who took over communications with the blackmailer. After agreeing to pay $4,000 in return for witnessing the destruction of the photos, a meeting was arranged at a local Starbucks.
Agents arrested Kamperveen when he arrived, believing he was there to collect the money and destroy the photos in front of the Senator.
Why did he have the pictures?
The unanswered question is whether Kamperveen had legitimate images of the Senator, and if so, how he got hold of them. It is a despicable act for someone to threaten or intimidate another person online with any intent, including to extort money from them.
The fact that the Senator didn't just dismiss the issue when Kamperveen approached her with images initially suggests that he may have had something that concerned her, when he first started stalking her online. These could of course, have been fake or manipulated images.
In a statement on the episode, Senator Book had this to say:
"I immediately notified law enforcement and began working closely with them to track those responsible for sending threatening and disturbing images and messages to my phone, including distorted, fake and stolen images created in an effort to intimidate, threaten, and extort me."
Law enforcement agencies are now investigating further in case there are other people associated with the crime.
Do you feel at risk from cyber criminals or do you believe each person is responsible for the images and personal information that they put out on the internet? Let me know in the comments section below.