Email is a useful tool that we all use every day, but it can also be used against you. There are phishing emails and even attachments loaded with malware that we have to worry about. But, that's not all. You've also got to keep an eye out for creeps who will use the anonymity provided by their email address to trick unsuspecting people. That happened recently when a Google employee posed as a university researcher to trick young women into sending him naked photos.
The situation started when Nicholas Rotundo sent an email to some college students claiming to be part of a "breast perception study." He said female participants who submitted photos of their breasts for research purposes would be paid $4,500.
One University of Texas undergraduate responded to the inquiry, but that's when her life was turned upside down. Instead of participating in a research study, this student found out she'd fallen into a trap laid by a sick creep trying to take advantage of young women.
Soon after sending in her photos, the student received a reply. It stated that the person she had sent them to was going to post them to a gross porn site called Pinkmeth if she didn't send him more naked photos. The email goes into great detail describing the type of photos he wanted, but I won't post it here because it's just plain sick.
Rotundo then continued to send threatening emails to the young woman asking if she had received his previous messages and making sure she knew what he would do if she didn't send more photos.
Luckily, the FBI is involved now. It believes that Rotundo is responsible for all of the emails.
The Smoking Gun says Rotundo is facing multiple cyberstalking charges (and prison time), and until his day in court, is completely banned from using the Internet.
I feel terrible that this happened to this young woman, so I want you to take this message to heart: Never share sensitive emails or information with email addresses you don't know. Sadly, even emails that seem like they're coming from a trustworthy source could just be a criminal in disguise trying to steal anything from photos to credit card numbers. That's why you need to know how to spot someone who's just trying to take advantage of you. Click here to learn tips and tricks to spot lies in an email.