FBI Arrests Glendale Man in ‘Sextortion’ Case


A Glendale man accused of hacking into hundreds of Facebook,
Skype and email accounts and
extorting women into showing him naked bodies was arrested on
Tuesday on federal computer
hacking charges.
Special agents with the FBI
arrested Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, of Glendale on Tuesday
morning on federal computer
hacking charges.
Kazaryan, according to the indictment, gained unauthorized access, or hacked, into the victims’ accounts and changed the passwords that would lock victims out of their own online accounts. Once he gained control, Kazaryan allegedly would search emails and other files
for naked or semi-naked photos of the victims. It is also alleged that he was able to get passwords and names of victims’ friends. Using the information, Kazaryan was apparently able to send instant messages to victims’ friends and persuade them to remove their clothing
so he could view and take photos
of them.
When victims found they were not speaking with their friends, Kazaryan allegedly extorted them using the photos to coerce the victims to remove their clothing on camera.
The indictment charges Kazaryan with 15 counts of computer intrusion and 15 counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to a statement by
the FBI, the search warrant executed in 2011 and unsealed on
Tuesday alleged that Kazaryan repeatedly contacted victims to demand that they expose their breasts to him on Skype and used their email and Facebook accounts to make contact with other victims. If the victims refused to comply with his demands, he is accused of
posting the nude photos on their Facebook pages.
Investigators estimate that Kazaryan victimized more than 350 women. About 3,000 photos of nude and semi-nude women were allegedly found on Kazaryan’s computer.
Agents have identified many of the online addresses, but there are still more that have not been linked.
“We do think there are additional victims,” said Laura Eimiller, FBI spokeswoman.
Eimiller added that anyone who uses a computer needs to be aware of what personal information they store.
“If you detect any type of vulnerability, like odd emails or contacts or [changes in your] settings, you should check your computer antivirus and update,” she said.
She also suggests contacting authorities if anomalies are detected, especially if it is on a computer used by children.
As in what is alleged in this case, those who prey in the cyber world often use threatening tactics against victims. Suspects will find victims’ vulnerabilities and exploit them.
“A good rule of thumb is to not send pictures that you wouldn’t want to see [everywhere] on the Internet,” she said.
Anyone who thinks they may be a victim of sextortion are asked to contact the FBI at (310) 477-6565.