According to the Goa Police a new type of cyber scam is ongoing in Goa targeting middle aged men.
Middle-aged and elderly men, many of whom are prominent citizens, are becoming prey of unknown “beautiful girls” who first send them friend requests and then trap them by getting them to expose themselves on video calls. Many well-known and renowned people have become victims of this scam. The victims are identified as those in the age group of 45 to 60.
Firstly the victims receive a random friend request from an unknown girl. Once that is accepted, conversation is initialised and slowly the victim’s confidence is won. Then the video calls begin during which the victim is induced to get nude and expose his private parts. During these calls, unknown to them, they have been recorded by the other party and then the blackmailing begins. Initially the accused demands something like Rs 5,000, but then it goes up to lakhs.
Due to the shame factor, the Victims are seen succumbing to blackmail and in most cases the victims hesitate to report the fraudsters because of the stigma attached.
“Goa Police’s cyber crime police (CCC) station has received several such complaints from Facebook and WhatsApp users,” said CCC PI Vishwesh Karpe. The CCC PI said that the victims believe that they are talking to a woman, but in reality it is a man using a software to pretend to be a woman. “During the video call the victim will see the so-called woman exposing herself, but it is a software that is making it look like it is a woman,” Karpe said.
Karpe said that in some cases people, while complaining, state that their social media account was hacked and now obscene videos and photographs of theirs are being circulated and posted. “Based on the complaint we write to the social media company to block the account,” he said.
Goa police is advising citizens not to fall prey to such friend requests .
This is not the first time that such a cyber scam has been reported in the state. Earlier, the modus operandi was slightly different in that the target was women and the lure was the offer of marriage. The online predator would then ask the victim woman to transfer them money. Police said that in this manner crores of rupees have been siphoned from women in Goa.