Liverpool Teen Arrested for Computer-Related Extortion

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English law enforcement has arrested a 16-year-old boy in Liverpool on suspicion of computer hacking, blackmail and fraud.

Detectives from Titan, the Northwest’s regional organized crime unit, and officers from Merseyside Police executed a Computer Misuse Act warrant in the case, which involves the hacking of an Instagram account. The teen allegedly took control and then tried to blackmail the victim into paying a ransom. The profile had “many thousands of followers,” according to detectives.

The cybercrime investigators suspect that the boy might also be behind the hijacking of an online shopping account, which resulted in electronic goods being re-directed and stolen.

Computer equipment and other electronic devices were seized from the house in Croxteth, Liverpool, and will be analyzed by specialist officers from Titan.

“At Titan we have the capabilities and expertise to investigate this kind of crime in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies and my message to cybercriminals is that you may think you can hide on the Internet and remain anonymous but the reality is that you can’t,” Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Green, the head of Titan, told the local paper.

The 16-year-old remains in police custody while the investigation continues.

 “This investigation shows the importance of people making sure they take the right precautions to protect themselves while using the Internet,” Green said. “People sometimes don’t use strong passwords or don’t change them as regularly as they should which makes it easier for cyber-criminals to gain access to accounts.”

He added, “It’s also important to make sure that phones, tablets and computers are all using the most up-to-date operating software and the latest antivirus software. These are simple things that we can all do to make it more difficult for cyber-criminals to hack into our social media and banking accounts to commit crime.”

Photo © grafvision

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