The Singapore Police Force has reported a sudden rise in the number of “cyber blackmail” cases being reported. The cases are also similar in that the primary target are men, and that they are tricked through social media networks.
There have been 50 cases in the last year alone that involve women luring men through social networks like Facebook, then initiating cyber sex sessions over video chat. The women then strip for the men and encourage the men to do the same or other sexual acts… all while the women record the video feed (unknown to the men). The men are then contacted later on and threatened that the videos will be posted online if they do not wire money to the scammers.
According to police, there were only 11 reports of similar cases in all of 2011 — but the numbers are growing as this is the second this year that they’ve had to issue a warning to the public about cyber-extortion scams. Here are the advisories the police are giving the public:
- Be wary of messages from unknown people who want to befriend you
- Do not accede to any request that may put you in vulnerable positions, such as performing compromising acts in front of the webcam, or giving personal details about yourself when interacting with other internet users
- If anyone attempts to extort money from you or should you become a victim of such an attempt, call the police immediately
- Do not remit or transfer money
Crimewatch, which is a Singaporean television program, recently re-enacted how one of these cyber-sex scams takes place. It’s… pretty entertaining, to say the least. Check it out!
[via Ars Technica]