The act of using cell phone text messages to threaten harm on a person or property for individual gain and/or benefit.
Based on a January 2011 criminal incident in Franklin, Tennessee where a man stole a cell phone, was offered a $100 reward "in-kind" for it's return, but instead demanded a higher amount - effectively holding it for "ransom."
Local media (specifically WTVF News Channel 5, Nashville) billed him as the "Textortionist."
On January 14th, 2011, 26-year-old Bradley Vaughn was arrested in Franklin, Tennessee - charged with felony theft and resisting arrest.
His victim had accidentally left his cell phone among the merchandise of a local retail store. When he realized he was missing it, he returned to find it had been stolen. Using a borrowed cell phone, he proceeded to text his own phone in an effort to retrieve it - offering a $100 reward for its return.
Bradley Vaughn allegedly returned the text, demanding $180 - effectively holding it for ransom. He instructed the victim to place the ransom amount underneath a glass of ice at a local restaurant.
The victim informed local law enforcement prior to the ransom exchange. Police set up a "sting" operation and, after a scuffle, arrested Bradley Vaughn - attempting to retrieve the bait ransom money left by the victim.
Local media reported the incident, billing Bradley Vaughn as a "Textortionist" (Courtesy WTVF News Channel 5, Nashville)