The next time you chat and share private contents with an unknown “friend” Beware you could land in serious trouble. As people tend to spend more of their time surfing the Internet and using social media platforms to interact due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, online fraudsters have adopted a new modus operandi to dupe, blackmail and extort money from their targets.
A youth from the twin-city learnt it the hard way by losing more than Rs. 36,000 after falling prey to the evil designs of the fraudsters who used “Video Calling” facility as a tool for blackmail and extortion.
In his complaint to the police, the youth (name and place withheld to conceal identity) received a call from an unidentified woman last month. After gaining trust and confidence, the woman proposed her love to the youth and coaxed him to send nude pictures of himself via video calls. The youth complied and then started the blackmail. The video calls were recorded and sent to the youth with demands of money for not uploading the objectionable content on the Internet. The youth who also claimed to have received a threat call from an impersonator who identified himself as a CBI officer, ended up sending Rs.36,671 via multiple transactions to the digital wallet numbers specified by the fraudsters.
An incident using a similar modus operandi has been reported from another police station under the jurisdiction of the Thane (rural) police.
A case under sections 384 (extortion), 419 (cheating by personation) and 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intent) has been registered against the two callers at the local police station. Further investigations were underway.