Chicago Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Phishing Scheme

Chicago Prison Snapchat ScamA 30-year-old man from Chicago, Joseph Alexander Valdez, has been sentenced to eight years in prison for conducting a Snapchat phishing scheme that victimized more than 700 women, CBS News reports.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida said in a press release, “Court documents reflect that between June 2021, and December 2022, Valdez identified college-aged females located throughout the United States—including two students at Florida State University and one student at the University of Florida—to deceive them into providing their Snapchat passwords." 

The press release adds, “Once he accessed the victims’ Snapchat accounts, Valdez took screenshots of the victims’ subscriber information—such as their name, phone number, email address—and downloaded their saved photographs, including private, nude photographs. In other instances, Valdez communicated in online chatrooms and forums with other individuals who used a similar scheme to unlawfully obtain the victims’ private, nude photographs stored on the victims’ Snapchat accounts and other social media platforms. These other individuals traded and shared photographs with Valdez.”

Acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Dargis of the FBI Jacksonville Division stated, “Every day, thousands of unsuspecting social media users fall victim to online scammers, who are using a variety of sophisticated guises and techniques to collect personal information about their victims. This sentencing exemplifies the commitment of the FBI to protect Americans and investigate and pursue those who seek to exploit them. We encourage anyone who believes they are a victim of an online scam or fraud to immediately report the incident to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at”

New-school security awareness training can give your organization an essential layer of defense against social engineering attacks. KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

CBS News has the story.

Free Phishing Security Test

Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before bad actors do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

PST ResultsHere's how it works:

  • Immediately start your test for up to 100 users (no need to talk to anyone)
  • Select from 20+ languages and customize the phishing test template based on your environment
  • Choose the landing page your users see after they click
  • Show users which red flags they missed, or a 404 page
  • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your Phish-prone % and charts to share with management
  • See how your organization compares to others in your industry

Go Phishing Now!

PS: Don't like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:

Subscribe to Our Blog

Comprehensive Anti-Phishing Guide

Get the latest about social engineering

Subscribe to CyberheistNews