Mumbai: Man falls prey to sextortion, loses ₹32k; case lodged with Andheri police

A 26-year-old man fell prey to sextortion and ended up coughing up ₹32,495 to a woman he had befriended on Facebook and then had an intimate video chat, only to be blackmailed and face extortion to keep the video private. A case has been lodged at Andheri police station and the unidentified accused has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.

According to Andheri police sources, the 26-year-old man, who is employed with a private bank, had received a friend request of a woman identified as Rekha Sharma on Facebook on June 27, which he accepted. Sharma then sent him a request on Facebook Messenger application, wherein they began casually chatting. After a few threads of conversations, Sharma asked the banker to share his mobile number, which the latter complied to and shared.

Within no time, the banker received a 'Hi' message from Sharma from an unknown number, which was followed by a video call. Upon receiving the video call, the banker was shocked to find a woman, in her mid 30s, completely naked, and asked him to join her in the intimate video call and strip off his clothes. The banker obliged and stipped off his clothes, but found something amiss, after which he disconnected the call midway and blocked the number.

He then received a video of him and the woman on WhatsApp, which is when he realised that Sharma was recording the video call. The woman then demanded money to keep the video to herself, failing which she would upload the content on social media. Falling prey to the extortion, the banker paid ₹32,495 in a series of seven transactions, after which he blocked the woman from all social media accounts and uninstalled his social media applications.

The banker then approached Andheri Police and lodged a complaint, following which the unidentified accused, Rekha Sharma, was booked under sections 384 of the Indian Penal Code for extortion charges along with relevant sections of the Information Technology Act. While police are investigating the matter, no arrests have been made yet.

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