Metadata Embedded in Photos Links Suspect to Extortion Scheme

Metadata Embedded in Photos Links Suspect to Extortion Scheme

Maninder Adama

FREMONT– Detectives analyzed metadata that’s normally embedded inside photographs to identify a suspected cyberbully, who allegedly threatened to disseminate a video of a couple having sexual relations—unless they paid him $5,000.

Police arrested a 33-year-old local resident, Maninder Adama, on suspicion of extortion by threat, and misdemeanor use of a concealed recording device to invade privacy. The suspect was booked July 27 at Fremont Jail.

]The victims, a couple in their 20s began receiving messages from an unknown e-mail address in June, which contained screen shots from a video that showed them engaging in sexual activities.

The sender claimed to possess an intimate video of the couple, and demanded payment of $2,000 to avoid the embarrassment of having it posted and tagged with their names on Facebook.

Subsequent messages raised the amount demanded to $5,000, and included threats to send sexual videos to the couple’s family, and post it on multiple websites.

Messages instructed the couple to pay using Google Wallet, an electronic payment system that allows people to send and receive money at bank accounts, either via e-mail or app.

The couple suspected a former roommate was behind the scheme and notified the police, which prompted an investigation that included assistance from a computer forensic laboratory.

Analysis of metadata enabled police to determine the physical address where the screen shoots originated, and linked evidence to the couple’s former roommate.

A search warrant was obtained and Fremont police raided an apartment on the 3500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue on July 27, where couple formerly lived and shared with several people.

Police seized several laptop computers and other electronic devices capable of recording videos. One of the laptops recovered contained a video of the couple, and Adama’s cell phone contained the e-mail address that was used to send messages to the victims.

Metadata Embedded in Photos Links Suspect to Extortion Scheme was last modified: August 10th, 2017 by admin
Categories: Alameda
Tags: extortion, threat