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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Maine Literary Awards

My book, True Crime Online: Shocking Stories of Scamming, Stalking, Murder and Mayhem has been nominated in the non-fiction category for the Maine Literary Awards! Keep checking back for more details and cross your fingers for me!

Monday, January 27, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - January 27, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Olympic bathroom stall with two toilets raises eyebrows

A photo of two toilets side by side in a Sochi Olympics bathroom stall is causing a stir, with an opposition leader calling it an example of mismanaged funds.

The photo of two toilets in a men's bathroom stall at the Olympic Biathlon Center, which went viral after being posted to Twitter by a BBC correspondent, led social media users to joke about officials spending too much money on toilets and not enough on stall partitions, the Moscow Times reported Thursday.

The photo of the toilets indicates the possibility of an even more awkward situation, as the stall's sole roll of toilet paper is only within reach of one of the commodes.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny said the picture serves as evidence of the government mismanaging much of the $50 billion budget for the upcoming Olympics.

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

When good lulz go bad: unpicking the ugly business of online harassment - 01/27/14
"It started off as someone being a bit annoying and trolling, with homophobic terms such as 'gaylord' and 'AIDS generation'. And then it escalated. From Twitter it started spilling into other areas of my life -- emails to work colleagues, phone calls, she was threatening to come to my events."

Iditarod sends 'Idiotarod' a cease-and-desist letter - 01/27/14
After being inspired by the annual Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska, a number of “Idiotarod” races featuring humans and shopping carts began popping up around the country. The people behind the Iditarod apparently don’t find the joke funny anymore and have sent the organizers of the New York Idiotarod a cease-and-desist letter. Lawyers for the Iditarod wanted the event to change its name to “Idiotarodorama NYC.”

Google outage causes thousands of emails to be sent to man's Hotmail account - 01/24/14
During Friday’s Google outage, a glitch apparently caused one man’s Hotmail address to be bombarded with thousands of emails. TechCrunch reported on the bug, saying users who turned to Google Search with the keyword "Gmail" may have sent an email to one David S. Peck -- at After clicking the “Gmail – Google” link following, some users were brought to a Gmail compose window displaying the email address dsp559 at Hotmail automatically filled in.

Glitch reduces everything on website to $57.70 - 01/24/14
British online hardware store experienced a technical glitch that reduced the price of all available items to $57.70. The glitch, first reported by Twitter users Thursday night, reduced expensive items including power tools and a riding lawnmower worth more than $2,600 to the $57.70 price, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Man hijacked his 22-year-old stepdaughter's Instagram account and posted embarrassing pictures to try and stop her partying - 01/23/14
An Oregon stepfather landed in jail this past weekend after admitting to cyberstalking his stepdaughter, slashing her roommate’s tires and hijacking her social media accounts, police said. Bryan Tilley, 51, of Keizer, terrorized the 22-year-old Oregon State University student for months because he wanted her to stop partying and seeing a guy he didn’t like, according to an affidavit. This is not the first time he’s found himself in trouble with the law.

Longview man accused of threatening his child's mom via text messages - 01/23/14
A Longview man faces a possible cyberstalking charge after allegedly making numerous threats to kill his child’s mother via text ­ and then later suggesting they get back together. Joshua Peter McCoy, 38, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of cyberstalking (threat to kill) and harassment (threat to kill), both felonies. He has not been formally charged but is being held on $20,000 bail.

'Revenge porn' website former owner Hunter Moore arrested - 01/23/14
US authorities have arrested two men in California for hacking email accounts and stealing nude photos to post on a so-called "revenge porn" website. Hunter Moore, 27, and Charles Evens, 24, face charges including conspiracy, unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and aggravated identity theft.

Edmonton sex assault suspect has history of cyber-stalking - 01/23/14
A 36-year-old man recently charged with sexually assaulting two women in the Garneau area has a chilling history of cyber-stalking women across the U.S. and Canada. Court documents show that in September 2010, Daniel Christopher Leonard pleaded guilty in a Tacoma, Washington, courtroom to one count of cyber-stalking and four counts of making threatening communications.

Newark Police Investigate Internet Stalking of Teen Girls - 01/22/14
Newark Police are investigating an alarming story from two teenage girls. The girls say they were contacted online by a man, who then told them he was watching them at school. The girls are 13 and 14. Their mothers say both are special needs students, making them even more vulnerable to the stranger who initiated a conversation online, then took it a frightening step further.

American Olympic team gets e-mail threats ahead of Sochi games, U.S. will share anti-IED technology - 01/22/14
The U.S. Olympic Committee acknowledged Wednesday it has received emails regarding security threats at the Sochi Winter Games as concerns over athlete and spectator safety mounts. United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmon said in a statement Wednesday the email message has been forwarded to authorities. The Olympic committee said the messages reportedly pointed out security shortfalls at the Sochi games but other reports said the emails contained terrorist threats.

Ashdown officers arrest internet stalker - 01/21/14
Ashdown Police Detectives responded to a complaint on Jan 10, from the mother of a minor child about inappropriate messages being sent to her child’s Facebook account. Detectives reviewed the messages and found that someone, who they believed was an adult, was soliciting sex and other deviant sexual acts from this minor child.

Delray Man Charged In Boca With Stalking, Robbery - 01/21/14
A Delray Beach man is in the Palm Beach County Jail this Tuesday, charged with cyberstalking. Frank Anthony Guardado, 26, was arrested by the Boca Raton Police Department Monday evening and charged with battery, robbery/home invasion, burglary, and the cyberstalking charge.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Making of a Cybercrime Expert

Read my blog post at my publisher's web site: The Making of a Cybercrime Expert today!

Monday, January 20, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - January 20, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Former Sen. Bill Frist takes aim, via Twitter, at United Airlines

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., spent Friday complaining on social media about United Airlines after a mix-up with his first-class seat.

"United miserable service again," Frist, 61, said in one of six posts on his Twitter account, USA Today reported.

"SanFran sold me and confirmed a seat then took it away," Frist said.

He later commented, "I booked a first class seat and now I'm in the very last row next to a bathroom that's in heavy rotation," and "I can confirm the toilets on this United flight work! My seat vibrates with each passenger's visit."

Frist later suggested the thin bathroom walls were likely a fuel-saving measure.

After United Airways returned a Twitter comment thanking Frist for flying and reminding him seat assignments were not guaranteed, Frist added: "Connection made; all is well. But do you refund passengers for selling seats that don't exist?"

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Facebook and Twitter harassment cases rocket in Gloucestershire - 01/20/14
Online harassment in Gloucestershire from social networking sites like Facebook have rocketed according to reports. Complaints to the county force have risen 69% in the last three years according to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request from the Daily Mirror.

The Grandma Scam: not just for grandmothers anymore - 01/17/14
Most would-be scammers try to profit from people's sense of greed: “Hi! I'm the Crown Prince of Nigeria, I want to smuggle $100 million worth of oil money out of my country, and I'll split the proceeds with you if you help me. Also, I'm requesting assistance from total strangers over the Internet because, despite my being royalty with a hundred million bucks, I'm not acquainted with any rich-financier types.”

Granite Falls police have arrested a 17 year-old boy following a month-long series of online Internet threats made against students and staff at Granite Falls High School. The teen, a student at the high school, was taken into custody after a search warrant was issued Thursday night in the 200 block of South Indiana Ave.

This Is What the Harassment and Abuse of Women on the Internet Looks Like, Part IV - 01/16/14
This has happened to me. I am the ED for a statewide gun violence prevention group. I used to get voicemail messages telling me I “don’t deserve to live for feeling the way I do.” Then it was posts on Facebook about seeing me get raped and, even though they had a gun and could intervene, they would just walk by and let it happen. Then they mailed a picture of a victim of the Mexican drug cartel with nearly 50 knives stuck in their body that said I should be concerned about “kitchen knife violence.” I took the letter and picture to the police and they scoffed and said the guy probably just disagreed with my views. I disagree with his views as well and I would not threaten him.

Police arrest man for making online threats against newspaper staff - 01/16/14
The internet can sometimes seem like a free-for-all arena for comments and replies from any and all. But when does it go too far, and land you in trouble? Blythe police are dealing with one such situation right now.

Online dating scams equal millions of dollars in cyber crimes - 01/16/14
A 66-year-old woman was conned into turning over monies in a romance scam, perpetrated by a man posing as a love interest. According to a Jan. 16, report by San Jose Mercury News, Dating website, is the site named in the investigation.

Grand Junction Man Sentenced to Prison for Online Threats - 01/15/14
The Grand Junction man convicted of making threatening online comments toward Grand Junction Police officers and their families is sentenced Wednesday. Kenneth Wheeler will serve 40 months in federal prison for sending interstate threatening communications.

Pa. Bill Would Outlaw Harassment By Posting X-Rated Photos of Ex - 01/14/14
A bill that would outlaw so-called “revenge porn” has cleared its first hurdle in the Pennsylvania legislature. The proposed law would make it a crime to expose sexually explicit images of an “intimate partner” to a third party for the intent of harassment.

New Google Plus Feature Raises Online Stalking Concerns - 01/13/14
On January 9th, Google+ announced a plan to unroll a new feature allowing users to email anyone in the system without requiring the recipient's email. Many have responded saying along with the marketing opportunity, the new tool also brings the possibility of cyber stalking and spamming.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Would you like to review True Crime Online?

Is anyone here a book reviewer? If so, I will be happy to send you a signed copy of True Crime Online in exchange for a review. Reply for more info.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tinfoil Hat Alert!

Read all about it! Tinfoil hat alert!

Monday, January 13, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - January 13, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Theft suspect fled on motorized shopping cart
Police in Oregon said a woman accused of a theft spree led officers on a brief low-speed chase when she attempted to flee on a motorized shopping cart.

Warrenton police said a worker at a Subway restaurant in Warrenton contacted police and said a woman had stolen $13 from the eatery's tip jar and attempted to use the case to purchase her $12.75 meal, the Daily Astorian reported Wednesday.

The woman was gone by the time police arrived but they soon heard reports of a woman matching the suspect's description stealing from a Fred Meyer store and causing a disturbance at a Rite Aid store.

Police said the woman then allegedly fled a Home Depot store in a motorized shopping cart loaded with merchandise. Police caught up to Laurie Ruth Chester, 59, while she was riding the low-speed vehicle on U.S. Highway 101.

Chester was arrested on two counts of third-degree theft, first-degree theft and disorderly conduct.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Online threats: Apps never come alone - 01/13/14
At the heels of millions of apps come droves of innocuous -looking requests that might breach the users’ privacy. With this weighing on in all the discussions at the third annual “Cyber Secure Pakistan Conference” which concluded here on Sunday, discussants urged the government to legislate to protect itself and its citizens against cyber crimes and online threats.

Ellenville High School student faces charges in cyberbullying probe - 01/12/14
A 16-year-old Ellenville High School student was arrested Thursday on multiple misdemeanor charges in connection with a five-month Facebook cyberbullying investigation. Sneha Patel of 3 N. Main St., Ellenville, admitted to multiple counts of aggravated harassment, criminal impersonation, criminal facilitation and menacing, all misdemeanors, according to Ellenville police Chief Philip Mattracion. Further charges may be pending, he said.

Be vigilant for cyberbullying: Monitor children's online use and text messaging - 01/11/14
Bullying is no longer confined to playgrounds, cafeterias and classrooms. Kids harassing kids, and even adults getting into the mix, have entered the digital realm, where easier access has made it a bigger problem. Computers, smartphones and tablets keep us connected, but also act as avenues for bullies.

Seattle officer sentenced to jail in cyberstalking of his ex-lover - 01/11/14
Detective David Blackmer, a 17-year veteran of the Seattle Police Department, was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail for cyberstalking an ex-lover by posting sexually explicit photos and videos of the woman online in retaliation for ending their extramarital relationship. Though Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor Randy Yates had asked District Court Judge Tami Bui to revoke Blackmer’s right to possess a firearm ­ which would have ended his law-enforcement career ­ Bui opted not to do so based on the facts of the case.

Brazilian man charged with sending email threat against flight from Miami to Brasilia - 01/10/14
Authorities say a Brazilian man is charged with sending police and airline officials an email claiming that a plane scheduled to fly from Miami to Brasilia was going to be attacked. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami reports 22-year-old Francisco Fernando Cruz was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate or foreign commerce.

New Year's reveler knocked out Alaskan town's Internet - 01/10/14
Some residents of an Alaskan village have been without Internet and cable TV service since a New Year's Eve reveler accidentally shot a fiber-optic cable. Ralph Eller, owner of Yukon Telephone and Supervisions Cable TV, said New Year's Eve revelers in the town of Tanana traditionally shoot guns into the air to celebrate the new year.

Ontario farmers taking 'felfies' with their livestock - 01/10/14
The latest Internet-inspired craze sweeping Ontario farmers is the taking of "felfies," a self-shot photograph taken by a farmer. The felfies -- named as a combination of "farmer" and "selfies," which was the Oxford Dictionary's 2013 world of the year -- have taken off on Twitter among farmers who say the photos they take of themselves doing their work are a show of pride, the Toronto Sun reported Friday.

Victoria teen guilty of sexting child porn, uttering threats - 01/10/14
Canada’s teens were warned Friday to be aware of who takes their picture and where those images may end up after a Victoria-area girl was convicted of distributing child pornography. The 17-year-old girl who sent explicit texts of her boyfriend’s former girlfriend was also convicted of possession of child porn and uttering threats.

Mom brings teen purse snatching suspect to police - 01/10/14
Police in California said a 17-year-old purse snatching suspect was brought to authorities by his mother when she saw surveillance images of the suspect online. Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said a teenager shoved a 68-year-old woman around 2:10 p.m. Saturday in a Santa Cruz parking lot and fled with two other people in a small, red car, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Friday.

Man lies to 13-year-old about having leukemia and asks for nude pics to ‘ease the pain’ - 01/09/14
A 21-year-old man from Tennessee might not have cancer, but it certainly sounds as if he isn’t healthy. Red Bank man James Nickolas Renfro is accused of using Facebook to try to lure a 13-year-old girl to the Northgate Mall, where he was met by authorities instead.

Texas Supreme Court tackles online defamation - 01/09/14
If someone posts nasty information about you online, what can you do? A Texas man says it happened to him and is asking the state Supreme Court to do something about it. Some say new rules could reduce cyber-bullying while others say they would attack your rights to free speech. Robert Kinney claims his former employer, Andrew Harrison Barnes, defamed him in an online post by writing that Kinney organized a bribery scheme after being fired from a law firm back in 2004.

Granite Falls parents angry over school’s handling of online student threats - 01/09/14
Parents packed a meeting at Granite Falls High School on Thursday night, outraged about how the school has been handling online death threats made to students.Dozens of students have received death threats on the social media site, and the high school also got a bomb scare. But parents say school administrators have failed to address the threats appropriately.

Search of the Internet for evidence of time travelers comes up empty - 01/08/14
You can find people bragging about almost anything on the Internet these days, but apparently traveling through time isn’t one of them. Researchers combed through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google, Google+ and Bing to see if anyone had mentioned people or events that occurred from the early 2000s to mid-2013 before they happened. Using terms like Pope Francis or comet ISON, the team investigated for evidence of time travelers speaking about major future events on the then present-day Internet.

Teen fined for moose-chasing snowboarding video - 01/08/14
Officials with the Flathead National Forest in Montana said a Facebook video of a snowboarder chasing a moose led to a $250 fine for the teenager. Wade Muehlhof, a spokesman for the Flathead National Forest, said officials decided to levy a fine when they saw the video of Whitefish High School student Hunter Lamoureux of Kalispell and his friend Charlie Rush with the caption, "Just chasing a moose while snowboarding ... no big deal," KRTV, Great Falls, Mont., reported Wednesday.

Mom 'cyber-shames' daughter for online bullying - 01/07/14
On Sunday, a Reddit user posted a photo of a girl holding a sign up, reading that she was bullying others on social media. The Redditor, AngryCommGuy, titled the picture "Mom catches daughter cyber-bullying." The user said that he found posted on a "suburban" mother's public Facebook page, advertising for a yard sale. The photo is of a girl holding an iPod and a sign, reading: "My name is Hailey. I am a kind, caring, smart girl, but I make poor choices with social media. As a punishment, I am selling my IPod and will be donating the money to the charity Beat Bullying, in hopes of changing my behavior as well as bringing awareness to Bullying. Because bullying is wrong."

Cyberbullying Drove The Maryville Rape Victim To Attempt Suicide This Weekend - 01/07/14
Daisy Coleman, the teenage girl at the center of the controversial Maryville rape case that came to light in October, has been hospitalized after attempting to take her own life on Sunday night. Her mother, Melinda, told a local Fox News affiliate that Daisy experienced an onslaught of cyberbullying after attending a party this past weekend.

Online harassment of women is a problem. Here’s what to do about it. - 01/07/14
If you're male, you might not realize how common it is for women to experience online harassment. The problem is particularly severe for bloggers, journalists and others who build a public profile online. And lest you dismiss "online harassment" as a mere annoyance, a new piece from writer Amanda Hess lays out just how frightening the experience can be: A few hours earlier, someone going by the username “headlessfemalepig” had sent me seven tweets.... “Happy to say we live in the same state. Im looking you up, and when I find you, im going to rape you and remove your head.” There was more, but the final tweet summed it up: “You are going to die and I am the one who is going to kill you. I promise you this.”

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Online Safety Talk/Cyberbullying for Parents tonight in Wakefield, MA

Hey, if you're in the area, come hear me speak tonight in Wakefield, MA. Phoebe The Cyber Crime Dog may make a surprise appearance!

7 January 2014
Lucius Beebe Memorial Library
Online Safety/Cyberbullying talk for parents
7:00 pm
345 Main St
Wakefield Ma
I will also be signing copies of my new book, True Crime Online: Shocking Stories of Scamming, Stalking, Murder and Mayhem

Monday, January 06, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - January 6, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .NC politician tenders resignation letter written in Klingon

A councilman from Indian Trail, N.C., might go on to live long and prosper, but it won’t be on the board after he turned in his resignation letter on Thursday -- in Klingon.

David Waddell said he used the language, spoken by a race of warriors on Star Trek, as part of an inside joke with Mayor Michael Alvarez.

But the mayor isn’t laughing.

“It’s an embarrassment for Indian Trail, and it’s an embarrassment for North Carolina,” Alvarez said. He also called the letter childish and unprofessional.

Along with the letter, Waddell included a translation from Bing.

“Folks don’t know what to think of me half the time,” Waddell said. “I might as well have one last laugh.”

He ended the letter by paraphrasing a Klingon battle proverb: “Perhaps today is a good day (to) resign.”

Even though his term on the board expires in December 2015, Waddell’s resignation is effective as of Jan. 31. Town Manager Joe Fivas said the council will figure out how it is going to replace Waddell later this month or in early February.

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Visit WHOA on the web at

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Celebrities, businesses and government departments buying bogus Facebook likes and fake Twitter followers from 'click farms' - 01/06/14
Celebrities, businesses and even the U.S. State Department have bought bogus Facebook likes, Twitter followers or YouTube viewers from offshore 'click farms,' where workers tap, tap, tap the thumbs up button, view videos or retweet comments to inflate social media numbers. Since Facebook launched almost 10 years ago, users have sought to expand their social networks for financial gain, winning friends, bragging rights and professional clout. And social media companies cite the levels of engagement to tout their value.

Bikini barista stand faces boycott accused of cyber-bullying - 01/05/14
A bikini barista stand is at the center of an ugly war of words that's raising the issue of cyber-bullying, a potential lawsuit, and a public outcry to boycott the stand. The drama started with a Facebook post on Sips Ahoy coffee stand's business page. The post made fun of a customer's weight, and Meghan Calavan, the woman who runs Sips Ahoy, said in a Facebook comment that she posted it because the woman was rude to her.

It's Time To Change Your Passwords And Here's How - 01/05/14
The first of the year is a good time for many things, one of which is changing passwords. Most people hate the idea of changing passwords, but it is a necessary evil. The proliferation of key loggers, phishing sites, viruses and malware require that passwords be changed regularly. Some folks just use the same password for everything. Words cannot express how dangerous this is, but it is fundamentally no different from having a single key to your home, car, safe deposit box, mailbox, etc. While certainly it is convenient, if somebody gets ahold of this one password, then they can use it to access all your websites.

Nelson Mandela's name being misused by Internet scammers to rob people online - 01/04/14
The Africa Rising Foundation has warned the public about an Internet scam that illegally uses the name of former president Nelson Mandela's grandson Ndaba to demand money in lieu of membership fees. The foundation said Proudly South African contacted the Nelson Mandela Foundation about the suspicious nature of two Facebook pages relating to the membership drive, News24 reports.

El Paso teen's family says cyberbullying forced her to kill herself - 01/04/14
Friends and family are mourning the loss of 14-year-old Viviana Aguirre, after her parents say cyberbullying forced her to take her own life. Viviana killed herself in her family's Lower Valley home late Thursday, after posting that she planned to commit suicide on her Facebook page. "Viviana was a little angel. It's hard for me to say this, but it's like she didn't belong here. She belonged with angels," Viviana's father Rudy Sanchez said.

Anchorage man charged with harassment after creating fake Facebook accounts - 01/04/14
After downloading photos off a former roommate’s computer without permission, Joshua P. Hoehne allegedly created fake social media accounts for the woman and her sister, all Anchorage residents. The accounts contained images of the women, both real and lookalikes, affixed above sexually explicit captions. Now 42-year-old Hoehne faces a flood of charges, one for theft stemming from the old roomies’ falling out, and hundreds of second-degree harassment charges.

Caroline McGehee cyberbullied over neuromuscular condition - 01/03/14
A local teenager is fighting a disease that hit her quickly and has left her in a wheelchair. Now on top of her medical battles, she’s also battling bullies trying to crush her spirit. Caroline McGehee, 13, talks openly about her struggle with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, a neuromuscular disease, on social media, giving her a supportive community of thousands. But it's also made her a target of cyberbullying.

Better Business Bureau Warns Of New Online Scam Hitting LinkedIn - 01/01/4
The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of scams on the professional networking Web site, LinkedIn. Scammers are posing as job recruiters on the site and asking people for personal information such as social security numbers, the BBB reported Monday. “People are also being asked for bank account information so that, supposedly, they can have direct deposit of their checks and we know of course that’s nonsense,” Howard Schwartz, Communications Director for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau said.