Monroe Man Accused of Sextortion

A Monroe man is accused of hacking a woman’s Facebook and Gmail accounts and then demanding nude photos of her to get them back.

On June 15, the 20-year-old woman went to police to report that she started receiving e-mails the night before asking for nude photos in exchange for her to regain control of her e-mail and Facebook account, police said.

Police began to investigate, and after issuing several search warrants, police identified John Joaquim III, 19, of Monroe, as a suspect.

He turned himself in to police at 5:20 p.m. on Monday and was charged with first-degree criminal attempt to commit larceny by extortion and two counts of computer crimes.

It’s unclear if Joaquim knew his victim, but anyone can be a victim of a crime like this, computer experts said.

"Most people have very easily guessable passwords,” said Ben Therien, a computer expert who owns P.C. Trauma in Hamden.

Therien recommends you protect yourself by having multiple passwords.

"You cannot use the same password for your Facebook and your e-mail address,” Therien said.  He also suggests using the security features that Web sites like Facebook and Gmail have to offer.

Under Facebook's security settings, you can designate recognized devices, which means you authorize access only on specific devices, including your home computer or your smart phone. Attempts to log on with an unauthorized device would prompt a text message to your cell phone with a confirmation code.

When you're asked to set up your security questions, Therien recommends you answer the question incorrectly, or type in the correct answer, but backwards, to throw hackers off.

"You have to do something to fool everybody,” Therien said.

As for Joaquim, he was released after posting a $7,500 surety bond. He is due in court on Aug. 17.

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