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Sometimes there are scams that I am just amazed that some people are able to pull off. And it's not because the person or the people pulling the scam are stupid. It's because the people getting scammed are actually going along with it and letting it happen! We're not talking about some complicated scheme that anyone would have fallen for or that no one could have done anything to stop it from happening. No, we're talking about a scam that is so perplexing to me, I can't believe that ONE person fell for it, let alone THIRTY.
Here's the scoop: According to an article by the wiry folks over there at Wired, over in Wisconsin an 18-year old male "...was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for an extortion scheme". OK, what kind of extortion scheme. Oh, you know. The kind "...that had him tricking male classmates into sending them nude photos of themselves". You may be asking yourself, "That's a scheme?" Well, it is when he was "...then blackmailing them with exposure if they didn’t have sex with him." Oh, yeah. That's a scheme all right! Wait. What?
Correct. Meet 18-year old (and old enough to know better) Anthony Stancl. Behold!
Yeah, that seems about right. Anyway, Mr. Stancl apparently "...posed as a girl on Facebook and tricked more than 30 male classmates into sending him photos of themselves." Now, you know that these photos that were sent weren't just any photos. No, they were the photos of the nude variety.
Let's just stop right here for a moment, shall we? What is it with younger people taking pictures of themselves naked? Or just taking pictures of their genitals? And then sending said pictures to other human beings. How does that work? Do you take a picture of your penis and send it out to all of your friends with the caption "Here's what my wiener looks like on Tuesday."? I don't understand the motivation behind these actions. And when you're sending said genitalia photography over the Internet are you thinking, "Oh, it'll be fine. Things only stick around on the Internet for like a week or so. It'll be gone soon." Or are you just planning to never have any sort of a job where you work with the public or what? Why are you sending pictures of your reproductive organs to other people? Why?
Since those questions, among others, cannot be answered right now, let's continue with how this scam worked. So Mr. Stancl found 30 guys who were really proud of their manhood and they snapped a couple of Glamour Shots (maybe with the penis by a lake or with the penis in the middle of a meadow) and sent them to Mr. Stancl, but who they thought was "Kayla". Huh. OK. Then what?
Well, as Mr. Stancl began receiving photos of male genitalia, he needed to keep them organized so he organized them within 40 folders on his computer and named each folder "after a victim whose photos were in the folder. In one case, police found 24 pictures of a single victim." 24?!?! Really? One for every hour of the day? (Here's my penis at noon! Here's my penis during rush hour!) Seems odd.
And it was odd. But to me, it wasn't as odd as the fact that seven of the victims claimed that Mr. Stancl "...threatened to post their nude pictures on the internet or send them to their friends unless they engaged in sexual activity with a male friend of “hers.” When the victims met with the male friend, who was Stancl, the perpetrator performed oral sex on the victims and took a photo of the activity with his cellphone." Wait. What now?
HE performed oral sex on THEM?! Huh. I would have thought he would have wanted it the other way around. He did all of the performing, eh? Strange. But what's stranger is that those folks thought that was a good idea.
I don't get that line of thinking at all. I guess because the victims were still in high school that they went along with this little plan. I mean, seriously. What went through their heads? "I'm not gay or anything, but this guy is going to post a picture of my penis online unless I let him get me off in an oral manner. Um, OK." NO! That's not right! That's not logical! But that's what happened.
The whole thing came unraveled when Mr. Stancl, still posing as "Kayla" ended up actually having sex with one of the male victims and then instructing the victim to send him a nude picture of his brother. That's when the victim went running to his parents and told them about this crazy, Facebook penis picture scheme.
Mr. Stancl has now been sentenced to 15 years in jail. Since he seems to enjoy performing fellatio, I'm sure that over the next 15 years, he'll be able to find plenty of willing participants to let him do his thing to them. Plenty of them. So let this be a lesson to you, kids! If someone wants a picture of your penis, just say no. Because really, no one wants to see that. No one. I promise. That's why y'all wear pants.