A new kind of scam is engaging people into a video call and using sextortion to loot money. Know all details.
If you engage in a lot of online dating, you need to beware of this. A new kind of scam is going around, wherein people fall prey to sextortion. The malicious people will often end up giving you a video call and once you accept it, you will see the person on the other side stripping their clothes and recording your reaction at the same time. Even if you disconnect the call, the scamster then uses the video for extortion, asking for high amounts of money in lieu of sparing it from sharing.
Several incidents reported on the internet have highlighted this lately. Most of the time, the scamsters target male users and use a woman on the other side to show the stripping. Since video calls enable the front camera by default upon accepting it, the scamsters record the entire thing immediately and threaten the victim to make it public.
Sextortion video calls used by scamsters
The scam has already claimed several victims from various parts of the country. For example, there was a recent incident involving a 24-year-old software engineer from Bengaluru who was on a dating app. He matched with a woman named Renu and the two began texting each other, and even exchanged numbers. “I received a WhatsApp video call the day after we had exchanged numbers. I answered it and to my horror saw that the woman on the other end was stripping her clothes. I cut the call within seconds, but that was enough for them, they had edited it to look like I had taken part in the act and was on the video call for quite some time,” says Ajit in a report to The News Minute.
Eventually, the video was used to blackmail Ajit to pay a sum of Rs. 2000. He is said to pay Rs. 1000 and was blackmailed for money, after which he blocked the contact.
There have been several such cases reported from across the country. Usually, the scamster contact people from the opposite side of the country to avoid getting caught. Once the video is made and shared, the scamsters keep asking for money in instalments. Victims don’t want to fall in trouble and quietly share the money to avoid any kind of trouble. Hence, several men, students and innocent people become victims of such incidents. One incident even saw the person attempting a suicide.
How to avoid such trouble?
The easiest way is to avoid picking up video calls from unknown numbers, or from those you have just met. If you are on a dating app and the other person wishes to communicate via video calls, you should always verify before accepting such offers. In case you fall prey, do not send them money and instead, reach out to the cyber crime police for help.