True Crime Online Newsletter - April 14, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .'God' sues Equifax for reporting that he has no financial history
Even God has credit rating problems. A Brooklyn man is suing Equifax for reporting that he has no financial history because the credit-reporting agency’s system won’t recognize his first name. God Gazarov was named after his grandfather. Gazarov filed a federal lawsuit on Friday after more than two years of fighting with the agency. He claims that the agency’s refusal to accept his name as legitimate stopped him from buying an Infiniti car last year. According to the 26-year-old, an Equifax customer service employee suggested that he change his name to fix the problem. The owner of the Gold Hard Cash jewelry store claims he has scores of more than 720 with TransUnion and Experian. “It’s extremely frustrating,” Gazarov told the New York Post. “I worked hard to get good credit to look good to lenders and this happens.”

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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, Google lobby on ‘revenge porn,’ other tech bills - 04/14/14
Facebook and Google have opposed or sought changes to a variety of legislative proposals in New York this session, including bills that would create criminal penalties for “revenge porn” and prohibit employers from demanding access to potential employees' digital accounts.

How Do You Know If You're Being Stalked? With Textual Harassment, Policies Need an Update - 04/14/14
Lauren* got home late one Friday night in March, feeling great after celebrating her friend’s birthday. She turned on her iPad as she got ready to relax in her Brooklyn apartment. But her feelings of happiness immediately turned to anxiety as she was bombarded with about 50 iMessages from her ex-boyfriend. He continued to text her the entire weekend.

Mind Your P’s & Q’s In the Age of Google - 04/13/14
“Is it love at first Google?” Are we letting technology dictate whom we should love or employ and, in turn, throwing good old-fashioned common sense out of the window? Jane, a 34-year-old marketing executive, enjoyed several dates with a guy she met at a conference until it slipped out that she had Googled him after their first meeting. Accusing her of cyber stalking, he severed ties with her immediately.

Suspected laptop thief busted after calling Apple customer support for help - 04/11/14
A New Hampshire man was arrested on burglary charges after police were able to track him down for stealing a laptop when he called technical support for help with the device. The computer’s rightful owner, Mike Witonis, received an email from Apple thanking him for calling customer service about the laptop even though he hadn’t had it for a year.

LA Salon Owner Discovers Rival’s Alleged Murder-For-Hire Plot - 04/11/14
A West Hollywood esthetician says it was “scary” to find out he was the intended victim of an apparent murder-for-hire plot allegedly masterminded by a rival salon owner. “There's been no negative episodes between me and her,” Gabriel Suarez told ABC News’ “20/20.” “That's the … oddest thing, is that there's really nothing behind this … plot for her to really have reason enough ... to want to do this, just other than being in competition.”

Buffalo judge gives $53,000 engagement ring to woman dumped by text - 04/10/14
A Buffalo judge ruled that a woman who was dumped by her former fiancĂ© via text could kept the $53,000, three-carat engagement ring because her ex’s message implied that it was a gift. “Plus you get a $50,000 parting ring. Enough for a down payment on a house,” Louis Billittier, Jr. texted after breaking things off with Christa Clark.

Bunkie woman accused of threatening Cottonport school staff - 04/10/14
A Bunkie woman is being accused again of making threats through Facebook against a school staff, according to police. Shawntell Marie McKay, 30, of 704 Holly St., Apt. 1, was arrested after a complaint was filed with the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office late Wednesday by Avoyelles School District Superintendent Dewayne Lemoine.

Gaming blogger discusses web harassment - 04/10/14
Anita Sarkeesian, author of the video blog “Feminist Frequency,” addressed topics such as internet harassment and portrayal of women in video games on Monday in Sage Hall. Sarkeesian explained the series of events that occurred during the time after her fundraising attempt and shared examples of the harassment she received via multiple websites such as YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter.

Internet stalking is pretty easy once you have a name - 04/10/14
Buzzfeed asked a bunch of people to do an interview about online privacy. The people being interviewed didn’t know the interview was actually about their online privacy. A crew in a van took the information given to the street reporter and used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Tumblr, and more to find revealing info about the individual.

Woman distraught at losing out on her dream home made fake sex ads in name of new owner's wife telling johns to 'force their way in and take me while I say no' - 04/10/14
A San Diego woman has been charged with soliciting forcible rape and sodomy on a rival who, with her husband, bought a house she had her eye on. Kathy Rowe was so furious after she missed out on purchasing the Carmel Valley home, she decided to make the new owners' lives a living hell. According to a criminal complaint, she unleashed her fury by impersonating the woman in a sexually-explicit online advertisement that requested stranger men force their way into her house and 'take me while I say no.'

When social media in the workplace becomes a legal issue - 04/09/14
It goes without saying that social media is now ubiquitous and ever-changing, but with the law ruling that employers can be held vicariously liable for the actions of employees, what can businesses do to protect themselves from legal threat?

New Hampshire teacher resigns rather than 'unfriend' students on Facebook - 04/09/14
A 79-year-old substitute teacher chose to resign from teaching after a very unfriendly dispute with school administrators in Claremont, N.H. Carol Thebarge opted to give up her job after 35 year instead of “unfriending” her students on Facebook.

Rhode Island phone thieves send selfies to victim after theft - 04/08/14
When a Rhode Island woman had her phone stolen on Saturday night it was bad enough. Later on, when strange selfies of the suspected thieves began arriving in her inbox, it just added insult to injury. She decided to do something about it.

'I've been impersonated online for eight years': Meet the woman forced to legally change her name after being robbed of her own identity - 04/08/14
The thought of being impersonated and harassed online is a nightmare for many people, but for one New York woman, living alongside 'caricatures' of herself created by an 'obsessed, mentally ill stalker' is a daily reality. In a candid essay for Salon, Anna Katzen, the 25-year-old's pen name, reveals how for the past eight years she has lived with fake social media profiles, lurid blogs and embarrassing forum postings that use her pictures and full name.


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