Who is Jared James Abrahams? College student accused of ‘sextorting’ Miss Teen USA

Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf
Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf appears on NBC News’ “Today.”
Credit: Getty Images

It started as Facebook alert letting Cassidy Wolf, 19, know that someone had tried to change her password. Next, she logged on to her Twitter account to find her avatar had been changed to a half-naked photo of herself — one she had never seen before. Then came message after message from someone threatening to post multiple nude photos of Wolf if she didn’t comply with the blackmailer’s demands to do what she was told during a Skype video chat — all the while, Wolf was moving up the pageant ranks to national recognition as Miss Teen USA.

The person police say was behind the “sextortion” of Wolf and at least eight other young women is 19-year-old Jared James Abrahams, a computer science college student from Temecula, California, a former classmate of Wolf. Abrahams is accused of hacking into the webcams of his victims and capturing nude images of them as they undressed. Police said he would then threaten to post the more than 1,000 images he had online if the young women didn’t agree to send nude photos, a nude video or do whatever he asked during a five-minute Skype session.

“Either you do one of the things listed below or I upload these pics and a lot more (I have a LOT more and those are better quality) on all your accounts for everybody to see and your dream of being a model will be transformed into a pornstar (sic),” he wrote to Wolf, according to the criminal complaint.

Abrahams turned himself into the FBI Thursday, six months after he is accused of beginning his extortion attempts on Wolf. According to the complaint, he admitted to using malware to infect his victims computers, allowing him to control their webcams. He also told investigators Wolf was the first person whose computer he hacked whom he knew personally. He told police he had between 30 and 40 “slave computers.”

According to investigators, another panicked victim who lives in Ireland wrote to Abrahams in April, “I’m downloading Skype now. Please remember im only 17. Have a heart.”

“I’ll tell you this right now! I do NOT have a heart!!!” he responded, according to the complaint. “However I do stick to my deals! Also age doesn’t mean a thing to me!!”

Abrahams was released on $50,000 bond under intensive pretrial supervision and home detention with electronic monitoring after his initial court appearance  Thursday.

Wolf, the current Miss Teen USA, has been vocal about the cyber-stalking case on her Twitter account, sharing updates and retweeting supportive comments from her followers.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.