Cottonwood Heights man claims extortion by pornographic website
COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Police say a website extorted a Cottonwood Heights man by threatening to send out copies of a video chat he participated in to his friends and family members.
The incident happened Thursday while a 20-year-old man was viewing pornography on the Internet, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Dan Bartlett. The man ended up on the website, citysex.com and started talking to a woman through Skype.
Afterward, the man received an instant message telling him the entire incident was recorded and would be distributed to friends and family members unless he bought memberships to a number of pornographic websites, Bartlett said.
The person who sent the message even included a link to his Facebook page, which did not have "private" settings, to prove they knew who his family members are, he said.
The man used his credit card to sign up for different websites until he maxed out the card, Bartlett said. The person allegedly continued to send him messages as he signed up for the sites, letting him know whether he was doing it correctly.
Later, the man — fearing the person would send the video anyway — called his bank to try and stop or reverse the charges, Bartlett said. The bank told him he needed to file a police report. That's when the man, despite his embarrassment, called officers.
Investigators were able to trace a phone number associated with the website back to Arkansas, Bartlett said. But they were still trying to collect IP address information and other phone numbers to determine if the website was based in the U.S. If not, Bartlett said there isn't any action they can take and it may end up being a "tough lesson learned" for the man.
Bartlett called it was a brazen scandal, and one he had not heard of before. But he said there could be other victims who have been simply too embarrassed to step forward.
"Who wouldn't pay to have that not posted?" Bartlett asked.
He said the situation was a good reminder for all people to be careful of their actions on the Internet, and to make sure that all Facebook conditions are private.
- Idea for Burt's Bees land to become park...
- Top 7 money-saving tips for summer travel
- South Jordan mother spends days caring for...
- Repo man charged with manslaughter in...
- Report: Tourism spending in Utah grew to...
- Herbert appoints new 3rd District Court judge
- Polygamous food stamp fraud trial pushed back...
- Bomb threats called in to 2 Utah schools
- Are Utahns tiring of Mitt Romney... 105
- Utah and 10 states sue Obama... 40
- Teacher on leave after telling students... 33
- Hatch steadfast in holding up Supreme... 17
- Skateboarder dies after being shot in... 10
- Utah lawsuit challenges porn filter fees 9
- Salt Lake's next skyscraper? Proposed... 9
- IRS scam goes far beyond a phone call... 8