Jail for man who installed spy app on wife’s phone, hacked her social media accounts

SINGAPORE: After constant arguments with his wife, a man secretly installed a surveillance app on her phone to monitor her social media activity, calls and messages.

Nicholas Wang Weichou, 30, used the app to hack into his wife’s social media accounts and sent her threatening messages after doing so.

The Singaporean was sentenced on Tuesday (Apr 5) to five months and two weeks’ jail, the sentence sought by the prosecution.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful stalking and two unrelated charges under the Moneylenders. Five other charges were considered for sentencing.

The court heard that Wang and his 33-year-old wife found themselves on bad terms in August 2020, about two years after marrying each other.

Around that time, Wang came across an app while researching hacking-related software. He bought it for a monthly fee of about S$108, paying to use it for two months.

He installed the app on his wife’s phone when she left it unattended during a nap and started using it to monitor her actions in August 2020.

The app allowed Wang to access all of his wife’s social media messages, voice recordings and call logs. He could listen to whatever she said “live”, and could turn on the phone’s camera without her knowledge to monitor her actions.

THREATENING MESSAGES

On Sep 6, 2020, Wang and his wife quarreled after she removed him from his company’s Facebook page, which she said was an accident.

Wang’s wife posted about their quarrel on Facebook, which made him unhappy. He used the spy app to access her social media accounts and deleted the post.

He also created a private Facebook post attaching screenshots of his conversations with his wife. After that, he sent her several messages to check her Facebook account, telling her “good luck” and threatening her to “try me”.

Wang’s wife was alarmed and distressed to see a Facebook post that she had not created, and deleted it immediately. She also tried contacting friends for help.

Wang then sent her another threatening message: “Don’t need tell ppl I hack your account. Nobody can help you. Till you admit what u done.”

Immediately after that, he use the spy app to change her Facebook and Instagram account passwords. He also changed her email passwords to prevent her from performing password recovery.

The victim was unable to access her social media and email accounts after that. She made a police report on Sep 8, 2020.

After learning of the police report, Wang threw away the phone he had used to access the app on his wife’s phone. He also returned her social media and email accounts to her.

The prosecution highlighted the sophistication of Wang’s offences, as he had used technology and software to spy on his wife without her knowledge.

The level of intrusion was very high, with Wang using the app to “surveil the victim’s most intimate actions, conversations, and movements at all times,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Dwayne Lum.

Wang also destroyed evidence, which was an obstruction of justice, said the prosecutor.

For unlawfully stalking another person, Wang could have been jailed up to 12 months, fined up to S$5,000 or both.

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