Oak Harbor teen accused of extortion, hacking

A 17-year-old Oak Harbor boy is accused of hacking and taking over a woman’s Snapchat account.

A 17-year-old Oak Harbor boy is accused of hacking and taking over a woman’s Snapchat account, selling naked photos of her online, sending strange men to her home for sex and extorting her, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged the teenager in Island County Juvenile Court Dec. 15 with felony computer trespass in the first degree, electronic data theft, criminal impersonation in the first degree and extortion.

In November of 2020, a young woman in North Carolina reported to police that someone had hacked into her Snapchat instant messaging account and started posting as her. Without her knowledge, the hacker posted an embarrassing video of her dancing and then stole nude photos and sold them on Snapchat for $300 or more, according to court records.

In addition, the teenager posed as the woman, made plans to have sex with different men for $140 each and gave them her address, the police report states. She reported that several cars and men showed up at her address. A middle-aged man in a station wagon was seen parked at her home.

The woman contacted Snapchat to close her account, but it remained active for months and the teenaged suspect continued to post on it. North Carolina police also worked to get the account closed. The woman filed a lengthy report with the FBI but did not hear back.

The records show that the teenager had conversations in which he admitted to hacking the account for his own profit, buying people’s “identities” — including credit card information — online and making fraudulent charges, the report states.

The teenager is accused of extorting the woman by threatening to post her private images to the internet unless she disclosed her password for the “my eyes only” section of Snapchat, the report states.

Police in North Carolina contacted detectives with the Island County Sheriff’s Office about the case. They arrested the teenager at Oak Harbor High School on Nov. 18, 2021 and served a search warrant at his home.

If convicted of the charges against him, the teenager could face from zero to 30 days in confinement, up to 12 months of community supervision, up to 150 hours of community restitution and/or up a to $500 fine under the standard sentencing range for juveniles.