A woman has pleaded guilty to posing as a man by using a “ghost account” on Grindr to solicit compromising photos in order to blackmail the man she targeted.
Megan Hume, 26, of Glasgow, Scotland, threatened the victim that she would post an explicit picture of him online and send it to his workplace if he didn’t pay her 50 British pounds, or about $65 in U.S. currency.
Hume, who is unemployed, embarked on the scheme in November 2018, when she joined Grindr and set up a “ghost account” with no name or photograph. Pretending to be a man, she began a conversation with a young man she targeted and convinced him to exchange sexually explicit images with her.
Hume reportedly sent a male sexual image to the victim, who sent one back showing his body and his face. The two exchanged phone numbers, and Hume called the victim from a blocked number and chatted, claiming to be “David from Anniesland,” reports the Glasgow Times.
But Hume then began sending messages to the victim threatening to share the sexually explicit and potentially compromising photo if he didn’t pay her. He relented, and agreed to pay her on Nov. 7, 2018, in exchange for her agreeing to delete the photo.
Hume then continued to harass the victim, demanding that he pay, calling him multiple times in the week days prior to Nov. 7 and 10 times on the day he was supposed to pay. The victim contacted the police to alert them to the blackmail scheme, and recorded some of the calls, including one in which Hume provided bank account details and another where she threatened to send the photo to the victim’s employer.
Police checked the number and linked it to a call placed to police in June 2018, in which Hume identified herself. She was later arrested and charged with extortion, telling officers: “It’s a load of s****.”
Earlier this week, Hume pled guilty to a single charge of attempted extortion at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this week.
Her attorney, Ian McCarthy, told the court his client “regrets her involvement” and noted that “the social work reports says she is deeply ashamed.”
When asked by Sheriff Lindsay Wood why she did this, Hume replied: “It was just the situation I was in with the house. It was in a downward spiral and I have learned to live with it.”
Hume was previously convicted on four charges of theft in 2014. Wood has ordered Hume to perform 100 hours of unpaid work and placed her under supervision for 12 months. She will also be “tagged” for four months, meaning she’ll have a 9:30 p.m. curfew and will have to stay inside until 6 a.m. during the time she’s under supervision.
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