Teen creates Facebook page and pretends to be a girl, reports herself missing to get ransomBy Mason White 11:13 AM August 29, 2013
By: Sarah Weiss
A teen let officials on a search for a woman, who was reported kidnaped and held hostage.
However, in reality the woman never existed.
New Jersey Police said that a local teen was arrested after he created a fake identity of a teenage girl on Facebook and Twitter.
He then tried to collect a $50,000 ransom in order to secure her release.
Andriy Mykhaylivskyy, 18, was charged with making false statements to a U.S. official.
The bizarre plot unfolded after Mykhaylivskyy created an online identity for Kate Brianna Fulton and used bogus social media accounts to start a relationship with another 18-year-old student.
One day, Mykhaylivskyy called a U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, Moldova, where he identified himself as Andrei Aylivsk, and reported that Fulton had been kidnapped in Bulgaria, where she was being held for $50,000 in ransom. The teen told officials that the girl’s kidnappers gave one week to pay the ransom, authorities said.
Mykhaylivskyy also posted “Someone help me” on the wall of the bogus social media account. The 18-year-old then went to the authorities with the ominous tweet.
Authorities searched several hotels and hostels in one Bulgarian town, but came up empty-handed.
Investigators eventually traced Fulton’s account to Mykhaylivskyy, who admitted to the scheme but said it was a “joke,” court papers show.
Officials later determined that the photo of the woman shown in Fulton’s profile was taken from a random girl. That girl was not aware that her pictures had been used in the bogus account.
Mykhaylivskyy was ordered held in lieu of $5,000 bail after he was arraigned in federal court.