#CyberFLASH: Coquitlam teen admits to ‘swatting’ offences

Digital Life Tech Tips Double Layer PasswordsA Coquitlam teen who prompted numerous “swatting” incidents last year on families around Canada and the U.S. pleaded guilty today (Friday) to a dozen more charges.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified under a publication ban because of his age, has now admitted to a total of 23 offences of extortion, public mischief and criminal harassment.

In a day-long sentencing hearing at Port Coquitlam provincial court, Crown Counsel Michael Bauer outlined how the teen had terrorized mostly young, female gamers and their parents, in B.C., Minnesota, Utah, Arizona, Ohio and California.

He had showed a consistent pattern of trying to connect with the online gamers and, when they denied his request to join in, he shut down their internet access, posted their personal information on the internet, repeatedly called them late at night and contacted the police in their hometown, posing as someone else.

Often, he would tell the police he was holding a family of five hostage or had killed someone in the house. He would demand a ransom, order a swat team to show up with a police helicopter or say he would kill any law enforcement official who intervened, Bauer said.

The teen, who went under the same social media user or handle name (or a variation of it), would also retaliate by posting their parents’ dates of birth, and social insurance and credit card numbers on the web.

In one case, he tried to have the parents’ utilities shut down to their home, Bauer said.

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