Cases of blackmailers laying honey traps and hacking private images and videos on the rise
Mysore/Mysuru: With evolving technology we are stumbling upon new faces online these days. Social media allows us to interact with people from different fields and different part of the world. The best part is we become friends easily with new people.
But relationships based on technological ties can sometimes put one in trouble if the person is not cautious about the way one conducts with others. The number of honey trap gangs has increased these days. The gang targets only men and interestingly, women are enlisted to set the trap. The gang extorts money by threatening them after taking nude pictures through video calls.
In the beginning, the honey trappers send friend requests from the profiles of girls. Once their friend requests are accepted, they will start sending messages to their inbox. They will make friends through obscene conversations. The trust of the victims will be gained by exposing nudeness through video calls. Meanwhile, the victims also share their nude pictures. After capturing it, the gang starts bargaining and threatening them.
Many such cases have been reported in Bengaluru Cyber Crime Police Station and the Mysuru City Police have received a couple of anonymous letters that carry information about certain gangs operating in Mysuru too trapping gullible people.
Senior Police officers say that in the chat accounts of social media, friend requests are sent from fake accounts. After texting for a while or for a few days, the woman, who is a part of the gang, makes a video call to the man on the other side of the call. By this time, they would have chatted for hours and familiarity grows.
After gaining the ‘trust’, the woman from the gang starts stripping off her clothes while encouraging the man on the video call to do the same. The man follows suit and has no idea that the call is being recorded. He readily strips. Then, with their naked video recordings as evidence, the gang blackmails the victim. These women normally pick early morning hours, but it can change depending on the victim’s habits, which is closely monitored over days and weeks.
Once the victim falls into the trap, the beautiful woman would vanish from the scene. Then men will take over and they will demand large sums of money by threatening to send images and videos from the chat to family members and friends. As their reputation is at stake, nobody files a complaint, according to the Police.
The Police have warned that incidents of honey trap, targeting prominent people have been on the rise. Even if the culprits were tracked down, the chances of retrieving the money were bleak, they say.
All of the honey trap cases are on basic human weakness. Dangle bait, when someone takes a bite, reel them in and demand money to be released. In most cases, the video being played to arouse a victim, is either a pre-recorded one, or completely fake. There are enough online tools available online to stream a fake webcam video, Police say.
These criminals buy details of potential victims before trapping them. They also target people by hacking their e-mail accounts and accessing personal details, he said.
“Sections 292 and 354C of the IPC and Section 108 (1)(i)(a) of the Cr.PC can be imposed on culprits who threaten to make your private recordings or pictures in compromising position public and against the publishing of such content, say Police.
We are here to help: Police
Do not accept friend requests from unknown persons. Scamsters post fake profiles with photos of beautiful girls to lure the gullible. Do not pay money in case you fall victim. If the gang insists on money, report the incident to nearest Police Station or call 0821-2418339. If you feel embarrassed to lodge a complaint, discuss the case with senior Police officers.—Dr. A.N. Prakash Gowda, DCP (Law and Order)