True Crime Online Newsletter - August 17, 2015

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Illinois man's Twitter bot wins 1,000 contests in nine months
An Illinois engineer said he won nearly 1,000 Twitter contests in nine months with a bot programmed to retweet giveaway offers. Hunter Scott, an electrical engineer, said in a blog post he used the Python programming language to create a Twitter bot that identifies and retweets posts that call on users to retweet for a chance to win. Scott said the robot would also follow the person or company advertising the contest if the tweet called for it. The engineer said he won nearly 1,000 contests, with most of the prizes being generally worthless items such as customized images for gaming and YouTube profiles. "I won a lot of cool stuff too though, and getting mysterious things in my mailbox each day was pretty fun," Scott wrote in a blog post. He said the prizes he obtained included gift cards, movie and concert tickets, a free year of Spotify, a Kentucky Derby mousepad and a Godzilla prize package containing a hat and a shirt. Scott said the most valuable prize he won was a $4,000 limousine ride and shopping spree during New York Fashion Week, but he declined the prize because he lives in Illinois. "My favorite thing that I won was a cowboy hat autographed by the stars of a Mexican soap opera that I had never heard of," Scott said. "I love it because it really embodies the totally random outcome of these contests." Scott said he entered about 165,000 contests and won 984, meaning he had a "pretty miserable" winning percentage of 0.6 percent. "And before you report me to the IRS, yes, I reported and paid taxes on all of the winnings I actually accepted/received," Scott said. Scott said he has now reprogrammed the bot to retweet posts that purport to raise money for charity.

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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)

Del Rio man faces cyberstalking, child porn charges - 08/16/15
In Del Rio, federal authorities arrested 26-year-old Michael Martinez on multiple charges involving online sextortion, cyberstalking and child exploitation of three female victims, including one minor. A seven-count federal grand jury indictment, returned Wednesday and unsealed late Thursday, charges Martinez with three counts of Internet stalking; one count of production of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography; one count of possession of child pornography; and, one count of coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Legal Services Commission says 80 per cent of domestic violence cases involve tech abuse - 08/14/15
VIOLENT partners are bugging the computers of their victim’s parents or siblings to retain control over the relationship, lawyers warn. The Legal Services Commission says at least 80 per cent of domestic violence matters it deals with involve the use of technology by an abuser to stalk or harass a victim or their relatives. Commission director Gabrielle Canny said extended family members were reporting that their computers were bugged by the abuser.

13-year-old possibly exposed to HIV after meeting adult online - 08/14/15
The Conway Police Department said a 27-year-old has been arrested after the alleged statutory rape of a 13-year-old. According to Sgt. Latresha Woodruff, a woman called officers to report that her son had sexual contact with Sonny Byrum, of Mayflower,­a man he met through an app called “Scruff”­ while she was at work.

Stalking suspect threatened Orange County waitress with sexual assault - 08/13/15
An Orange County man is out on bond, accused of stalking a waitress at a restaurant on International Drive. She told investigators the threats were so disturbing, she feared for her life as well as her daughter’s. The victim told investigators the harassment went on for at least two months. Investigators said after the content of previous letters she received, she was too scared to open the last one that arrived, so she gave it to them in a sandwich bag. Scott Goltry, 47, bonded out of jail Thursday morning after facing a judge on a felony charge of stalking with a credible threat.

Social media posting guide for teens - 08/13/15
Chances are children and teens have more social media accounts than their parents are even aware of, and with school starting back up in Central Florida, that can mean big problems. A 14-year-old Lake County student was arrested Wednesday after deputies said he threatened to shoot up two schools on Instagram. Earlier this year, an Osceola County teen was arrested after deputies said she posted bomb threats on Twitter.

Insightful teen avoids being victimized by online sexual predator - 08/12/15
With the ever increasing awareness of internet safety and protocols being presented to children through various agencies, one local 14 year old was able to avoid possibly being taken advantage of by an online sexual predator on July 29 when he notified his mother of a man soliciting him for sex. Donald Kilgore, Jr., 36, of Ash Flat, was arrested in the case on July 31. According to the affidavit for warrant of arrest, the Sharp County Sheriff's Department was made aware of a man trying to get a 14 year old to meet him for sex after the child's parent contacted the Cherokee Village Police Department about the incident.

‘Obsessed’ Fla. man stalks teen, threatens to rape her after she sends nude photos in exchange for shopping money - 08/12/15
A 32-year-old Florida man has been arrested for stalking a 17-year-old girl and threatening to hurt her and her family after she tried to break off an Instagram relationship in which she traded nude photos of herself for money to go shopping, police said. Andrew Boubelik began calling the girl 50 to 100 times a day after she told him he was too controlling and tried to break off their Internet communications, Orlando police said.

Repeat felon in trouble on charges of stalking FBI agent - 08/12/15
A convicted con artist from the South Side who has tangled repeatedly with the FBI and irked the federal court system with hundreds of frivolous lawsuits is in trouble again, this time on charges of stalking an FBI agent who helped put him in prison for fraud a decade ago. Frederick H. Banks, 47, was indicted under seal earlier this month on one count of interstate stalking after the FBI said he placed an ad on Craigslist seeking a sexual encounter and then listed the name and phone number of the agent in Florida.

CBC reporter kissed live on air still receiving online harassment even after she accepted teen’s apology - 08/12/15
A CBC journalist who was kissed by a stranger on live TV has received an apology, but she’s still being attacked by others online for making a complaint to police. Megan Batchelor was reporting from a music festival in Squamish, B.C., north of Vancouver, Friday when a stranger came up from behind, kissed her on the cheek at the same time as he took a picture of the event.

Internet Trolls Blast Megyn Kelly With Sexist Remarks On Twitter & It's Just One Of Many Attempts To Silence Women Who Speak Out - 08/11/15
Donald Trump wasn't the only one dealing questionable language out towards Megyn Kelly after last Thursday's debate; it also unleashed the Internet trolls, who attacked Megyn Kelly with unrelenting vitriol. In fact, it got so bad that developer Izzy Galvez even created a chart to illustrate it visually ­ and the worst part is that what the chart shows isn't unexpected. This is just one instance in a long line of women being harassed online purely for speaking out against sexism.

Ellensburg man accused of assault and burglary - 08/11/15
A 19-year-old Ellensburg man is accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, breaking into a home, and taking and posting naked pictures of the couple on Facebook. Michael Anderson was arrested on suspicion of cyberstalking, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief. He obtained a lawyer and turned himself in when he learned police wanted to talk with him.


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