Cassidy Wolf: Newly crowned Miss Teen USA 'was secretly photographed in her room after her webcam was hacked' in case that sparked federal probe
- Cassidy Wolf, 19, from California crowned Miss Teen USA on Saturday
- Four months ago she received anonymous email from someone saying they had hacked her webcam and had photos of her in her room
- They tried to extort her, saying the photos would not be leaked
- The case is now under federal investigation
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 08:16 EST, 13 August 2013 | UPDATED: 10:16 EST, 13 August 2013
The newly-crowned Miss Teen USA has revealed how she was secretly photographed in her room after her webcam was hacked - in a cyber-crime case that sparked a federal probe.
Cassidy Wolf, who took the crown on Saturday, said she was horrified to learn a stranger had hacked into her computer before trying to extort her on the promise the photos would not be leaked.
The 19-year-old from Temecula, California now travels the country to tell her story and warn other teenagers about cyber-crime.
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Shock: Cassidy Wolf, from California, was crowned as Miss Teen USA 2013 in the Bahamas on Saturday
Winner: She hopes to use her year-long reign to raise awareness of cyber-crimes after her own experience
Speaking to Today.com, Wolf said that she was targeted months before she beat 51 other young women to take the Miss Teen USA title at Saturday night's pageant in the Bahamas.
'I was just a normal girl in high school,' she said.
Around four months ago, she was notified that someone had tried to log into her Facebook account from a different state, Today.com reported.
She then received an anonymous email from a stranger saying he had photographs of her in her room that were taken when her computer's webcam was hacked.
'I wasn't aware that somebody was watching me [on my webcam],' she said. 'The light [on the camera] didn't even go on, so I had no idea.'
She would not provide further details of the nature of the photographs, citing the ongoing federal investigation, but told Fox that they captured things you would do 'in the privacy of your own room'.
Beauty queen: Months ahead of the pageant, 19-year-old Wolf (left) was the victim of cyber-crime
Targeted: Wolf received a message saying someone had photos of her taken through her webcame
She added the stranger tried to extort her, saying that the photos would then not be leaked.
'You just need to be so extremely careful with what you do online nowadays because you never know what people can be doing to you online,' she told Fox.
After she was named Miss California, Miss Wolf traveled to schools near her home in Temecula to talk with students about how to protect themselves from cyber-crimes.
During her one-year reign, she hopes to spread her story as a warning to others.
'This next year I’m just so excited to be able to share my story and raise awareness in young teens about what can happen,' she said.
Speaking out: Wolf, right, contacted authorities and her case is now under federal investigation
Warning: She now visits local schools to warn others of her story and to give tips in online safety
She said that people can protect themselves by changing their passwords frequently and deleting browsing history regularly. She also suggested putting a sticker over the webcam when it's not being used.
Wolf, an avid dancer since the age of two, plans on continuing this work even when she begins classes at the New York Film Academy this year.
She said she was 'shocked and overwhelmed' to win the pageant on Saturday after just two years of competing in contests.
'I don't remember how I was feeling,' she said. 'I was crying, I was so happy.'