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Teenager jailed after hacking into Snapchat accounts and demanding money from victims’ friends

Written by on 27 July 2022

A teenager has been jailed after hacking into Snapchat accounts to pose as his victims in an effort to make money while threatening to post intimate photos.

Jasin Bushi, 18, has been sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to unauthorised access to a computer to facilitate the commission of an offence, fraud by false representation, possession of articles used in fraud and three counts of blackmail.

He also pleaded not guilty to three counts of disclosing private sexual photographs or films, with intent to cause distress.

Between December 2020 and February 2021, Bushi logged into the Snapchat accounts of seven women, before changing the sign-in details to prevent them regaining access.

He then proceeded to pose as his victims and message their friends to ask if he could borrow some money to pay his rent, adding he will be kicked out if he doesn’t pay.

However, he was sometimes challenged when the victims’ friends when they realised something was wrong. Bushi would then double down and admit he wasn’t the victim in question, and instead demand money or threaten to send explicit photos of them.

The photos in question were in the private area of the app, and were posted on a number of occasions to be seen by friends, family and colleagues.

The judge accepted Bushi’s denial that he was the person that posted them, however.

An investigation began in May 2021 into Bushi’s behaviour, and quickly found fake PayPal accounts which used his victims’ details as part of his operation, with detectives able to link him to the mobile phone numbers he used.

His home was also searched in August, where officers found some of the victims’ bank details, email addresses and passwords, as well as a note that said: “Hey, I’m struggling with rent. I’m literally £300 short and I’m probably going to get kicked out if I can’t pay. I’ll pay back Monday”

The message sent by Bushi when posing as his victims. Pic: Met Police Image: The message sent by Bushi when posing as his victims. Pic: Met Police

‘The long lasting psychological effects impact me every day’

Seven of Bushi’s victims, aged between 17 and 35, came forward to provide statements, while many more decided not to support the investigation.

In a statement, one victim wrote: “Snapchat was a social media platform where I had years of stored treasured memories of photos and videos of my child, and I now feel nauseated using the app.

“I had a friend who, thinking she was helping me, lost a significant amount of money due to this incident and I feel indebted to her. I was fortunate enough to not be physically injured by this incident, but the long lasting psychological effects impact me every day, and I feel that this is likely to be the case for a long time in the future.”

Another added: “I felt embarrassed, I left the office straight away in tears and had a few days off work because I felt I couldn’t face the people who have seen those private images. The feeling still haunts me now of when I first saw those photos on my public story, I would never wish that feeling upon anyone.”

Read more on Sky News:
Stalker who terrorised 121 victims jailed after creating ‘rape list’
Met Police officer charged with intentional strangulation

Detective Constable Ed Sehmer, the investigating officer from the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Bushi completely violated the victims’ privacy all in an attempt to make a quick bit of cash.

“When his deception did not work, he resorted to blackmail. He is extremely cruel, callous and it was absolutely devastating for the victims who had their intimate images publicly posted.

“I’d like to thank the victims for courageously helping us with our investigation and I hope Bushi’s conviction offers them a small measure of comfort.

“This crime type often goes underreported as victims can often feel shame or embarrassment. There is nothing to feel ashamed about. I urge anyone to come forward and report to the police if this has happened to you. We will fully support you and treat you with sensitivity and dignity.”