Think twice before ‘falling’ in love online

Cops warn of increasing cases of fraud using private photos

Published: 11th September 2020 04:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2020 04:27 AM   |  A+A-

Online dating, marriage

For representational purposes

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Feeling naughty... But, before you get intimate with your new online friend, think twice or you could pay a heavy price. Sextortion is one of the most popular online frauds in this age. It refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion. This includes threats to release sexual images or information. The T Nagar cyber crime police came to the aid of two men, who almost fell victim to sextortion.

In the first incident, Suresh (name changed) made a Facebook friend from the Philippines. Since his wife and children had gone to their native place during the lockdown, Suresh and the woman used to make video calls. “Sometime in August, they agreed to get naked on a video call. Suresh trusted the woman since she had promised to meet him in Chennai when flight services resumed and even shared personal details,” said a police officer.

A few days after the call, the woman sent an edited version of their video call. She cleverly edited her face out of it and demanded Suresh pay Rs 80,000 else she would forward the video to his wife and friends through Facebook. Since Suresh ignored her threat, the woman sent the video to his wife and a few colleagues, said the police.

“The woman tracked his photos on Facebook and sent the video to his friends, who were tagged in his photos. The man lodged a complaint with the T Nagar Cyber Crime police, who sent a request to Facebook and the account along with videos were deleted,” said the police officer. In a similar incident, another man approached the cyber cell to help delete a video. 

“Since the culprits are not from India we cannot arrest them. We delete the videos and the profile and also report the IP address to the concerned social media platform,” said the police officer. Speaking to Express a senior police officer attached to Cyber Crime cell said, “We have to be careful and do proper background checks to see if the person is legit. We are repeatedly saying not to share private pictures and videos, but people still go ahead and do it. In such cases, people need not come to the police station. They can lodge an online complaint and talk over phone. Their privacy will always be protected.”


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