Ohio Couple Charged With Running Blackmail Sexting Scam

Its just a good idea to not send anyone a picture of yourself naked.
  • It's just a good idea to not send anyone a picture of yourself naked.

Kevin Zunk, 43, and Tonya Blaze, 40, had a brilliant idea, or so they thought.

Scouring for lonely and vulnerable souls on a dating website, the pair would engage someone and convince them to trade nude pictures. Once the nakey pics were in possession, they would contact the sender to let them know they had actually sent the pics to their 11-year-old son/daughter instead and pretend to be absolutely livid as hell about it.

Having sufficiently spooked the amateur self-portrait artists, scaring them into thinking they did something entirely illegal, Zunk and Blaze would then demand cash payment, threatening to turn the matter over to the police.

They duped at least seven people across the country with the scam, sometimes going so far as to call the sender pretending to be the FBI or another law enforcement agency.

According to the Associated Press:

In one case, a man in Florida contacted the FBI in October after he sent $2,485 to Zunk, court records said.

According to the affidavit:

- The man said he contacted Zunk through the dating site and Zunk suggested they swap nude photographs.

- The man sent two nude photos and Zunk called him soon after to say they were sent to his daughter. Zunk then said his wife was upset and that he needed money to change his phone number and for court costs.

- Zunk sent repeated messages to the Florida man, demanding more money. "I will call your work and let your boss know what you're charged with," one voice mail said.

Other victims included people in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, the affidavit said.

The pair only made $10,000 of the scheme, qualifying them as not only dumb criminals, but unsuccessful ones also.

As always, it's just general good sense to not send nude pictures of yourself to anyone. Let this be example 1,523 of why.

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.