California man who "sextorted" over 350 women online is arrested

What, exactly, is "sextortion"?

"It’s a familiar script: boy chats up girl (or sometimes boy) online, hacks her or his e-mail, asks for or steals nude photos, and threatens the victim with the possibility of publicizing those photos, before eventually getting caught," Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica writes.

The latest online "sextortion" suspect has just been arrested by the FBI: Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27. He is accused of hacking into "hundreds of Facebook, Skype and email accounts and extorting women into showing him their naked bodies," according to the DoJ arrest notice, and he faces up to 105 years in prison.

Cyrus reports that the Glendale man was indicted last week on 30 total counts of “Extortion, Threatening Letters, False Personation, Identity Theft, and Contact by Electronic Communication with Intent to Annoy,” as well as “knowingly and without lawful authority [possessing and using the] identification of other persons.” PDF of the indictment is here.


  1. The Internet has become too “safe”. People are comfortable using it, which is great, but that also means they don’t take appropriate precautions and trust it too much.

    It’s preposterous to think that if you and put sensitive material online in any capacity without really trying to protect it that it won’t be found and abused.

    Edit: I’ve been set straight by a friend, and apparently missed the bit about “extorting women into showing him their naked bodies”, which embarassingly is kind of the whole point of the post. For shaaaaaame.

      1. I understand that. I think my main point is that that the organizations encouraging whole lives to be online ought to make these risks clearer.

        Users should have a reasonable expectation of privacy online. But the online part changes the reasonable part pretty dramatically, I think.

        1. “Users should have a reasonable expectation of privacy online.”

          And blackmail-publishing their private photographs on their personal facebooks is pretty fucking unreasonable. The guy already had rape charges pending against him from 2008, so he’s no stranger to abuse.

  2. “Contact by Electronic Communication with Intent to Annoy” is against the law?

    If word about that gets out, Internet traffic is going to drop to practically nothing.

    1. Problem? >

      OK, seriously, though, the guy mentioned in the OP was a total sleaze, and given what he did, I would personally be happy he’s been caught.

  3. I’m a mod on OKC, and we see attempts at this at least a dozen times A DAY, most of it so repetitious it’s obvious there are groups at work. We delete whatever users flag for us, but even if management IT could block repeat scammers by IP address, it would still happen until potential victims are more aware of the different romance/phishing scam styles.

    Or… as a society we agree nudie or explicit pics of people are irrelevant to their moral standing and relationships. We are going to have to do something about either censoring ourselves online; or as a society, agreeing intemperate posts and compromising pics have a relevance expiration date, and women’s bodies are their own to control as they see fit. Not holding my breath for that change of attitude.

  4. Note that the FBI spent a year looking at the evidence. “Hey, Agent Johnson! Come check out the evidence on this one!”

      1. “The description here should scare anyone away from allowing any naked images of themselves to be taken in any form.”

        People can do horrible things to you if you give any measure of trust to them at all. The solution is not to never ever trust anyone ever.

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