Man allegedly posed as underwear company owner to get womens' nude photos

Police provided screenshots of several conversations the suspect had with his victims.

Israel police car (Illustrative) (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israel police car (Illustrative)
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Police on Sunday arrested a resident of Tirat Carmel, in the Haifa District, over suspicions that he hid behind a fraudulent lingerie company’s Instagram account to commit sexual offenses.
The arrest came following a months-long covert investigation concerning suspicions that the 29-year-old man committed sexual offenses, impersonation offenses and fraud.
Police suspect that for about a year the man opened an Instagram business page that appeared as an existing lingerie company, changing only one letter of the real company’s name from Hermosa Israel to Hermos Israel.
Then, posing as the owner of the business under the name “Natalie,” he turned to women in their 20s and 30s who he found on Instagram and enticed them to send him intimate pictures of themselves. He convinced them under the pretext that it was a professional requirement to evaluate their “suitability” to participate in an advertising campaign.
The suspect allegedly promised thousands of shekels of financial compensation and other benefits to women who fell victim to his scam.
The Israel Police identified a pattern of behavior by the suspect through a large number of complaints they received throughout the country, including a complaint from the real business owner, who had received requests asking her about the campaign and about “Natalie,” who does not exist in the real business.
The Israel Police Central District’s cyber unit used their best technological means to expose the suspect and trace his movements. During his arrest on Sunday morning, police conducted a search of his home and various storage devices in his possession were seized.
Police provided screenshots of several conversations the suspect had with his victims.
One of them reads as follows: “Hi, nice to meet you I’m Natalie, I follow you and I must say that you are stunning and I’d be happy to collaborate with you and to photograph the winter catalog with you, for pay of course.”
The woman responded by thanking “Natalie” for the offer and compliments and asking for more details to which the suspect responded: “Of course sweetie, you are gorgeous. I will explain. I have two shops for swimsuits, underwear and pajamas and a third shop on the way which will open in three weeks time and I am taking pictures for the perfect winter catalog for the shops only, not for Facebook and stuff one day of filming 3-4 hours and I pay 1500 for the day and of course you get all the sets of pictures as a present.”
Another screenshot shows him asking a woman for topless pictures, promising to delete them immediately. When the woman refuses he responds “OK not by force haha. But it’s problematic. Sorry sweetie I really want to move forward. I understand you too.”
Another screenshot of a conversation shows him asking for topless pictures and a series of deleted messages from the woman who appears to have obliged his request; he responds asking for a closer shot and another from a different angle.
Police were set to bring him to the Acre Magistrate’s Court on Monday afternoon to request a remand extension.
Police called on additional victims of the suspect to come forward.


Tags Haifa