Elaborate sex pic scam nets boy thousands

A 16-year-old con artist who used nude pictures to empty his victims’ bank accounts has been sentenced to community service.

The boy, said to be the brains behind the operation, had help from a 22-year-old accomplice who received a prison sentence for his participation in the caper.

Both have admitted to their crimes.

The scheme started with the 16-year-old posing as a young girl, who would then seek to strike up x-rated internet chats with potential victims.

Anyone who took the bait was then invited to download a naked picture of “the girl”. But hidden in the picture file was a software program which allowed the 16-year-old to remotely access the contents of his victims’ computers.

The final step in the scam was getting people to then pay a small fee for an internet “liveshow” featuring the fictitious girl, allowing the 16-year-old to copy the electronic certificate and password needed to complete the transaction.

Passwords in hand, the boy succeeded in transferring around 130,000 kronor ($22,000) from the bank accounts of several “customers” to his or his accomplice’s bank accounts over a several month period in 2007.

Public prosecutor Johan Bülow wrote in court documents that the case was a fraud of an especially dangerous kind, as the swindlers used an “extreme proposal”. In addition, the crime risked damaging confidence in Sweden’s electronic payments system.

The Lund District Court judged the 16-year-old’s crime to be worthy of two years in prison. But because the boy was so young, he instead received 150 hours of community service for gross fraud by means of illegally accessing a computer network, theft, and drug offences.

The 22-year-old accomplice was convicted for theft, receiving stolen goods, and gross unlawful driving, for which he received a four months prison sentence.