Recently, a Pune doctor lost thousands of rupees to cyber criminals in a sextortion case. Reportedly, the doctor received a video call on his WhatsApp while he was on duty. He answered the call and saw a woman undressing. He hung up but the fraudster took screenshots of the doctor and later threatened to publish them on social media. Soon, the doctor was sent a QR code to pay money online.
There has been a rise in the number of sextortion cases in the country lately. If you are a smartphone user, you are at risk of falling for such fraud. Here, with our new series, Cyberstalked, we have been bringing you tips from cyber security expert, Shubham Ajit Singh to keep yourself safe. Here’s all you need to know about preventing and reporting sextortion cases.
What Is Sextortion?
This cybercrime involves blackmailing by recording someone’s private activities or pictures through video calls, mobile, or webcams. Cybercriminals threaten the victim to publish sexual information, photos, and videos online. This is done to extort the money or make the victim do something against their will. These criminals usually target people through dating apps, social media platforms, and matrimonial sites.
How Does Sextortion Happen?
The cybercrime expert further shared that criminals use different modes to trap people. They can hack technological gadgets and acquire access to your private pictures or videos. Another way is enticing the potential victim with adult conversations or a video call in which the scammer gets the victim’s private pictures.
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These pictures and videos can be later used to blackmail the victim into paying for not publishing it online.
How To Prevent Sextortion?
- Exercise caution when accepting friend requests from anonymous users to prevent falling for such scams.
- Never post something private or an intimate affair online. Don’t allow others to see or record it.
- Use privacy safeguards provided on different social media sites to prevent any information from being misused.
How To File A Report?
- If you fall for the scam, file a complaint on the social platform.
- Report the sextortion and file a complaint at the appropriate website online. Also, file an FIR with the police department’s ‘Cyber Crime Wing.’
- A complaint can be filed with the ‘Ministry of Home Affairs of India’ online. It is quick and takes less time than filing a report at the police station.
Filing A Report Online
- Go to the ‘National Cyber Reporting Portal’ on the ‘Ministry of Home Affairs’ website. Head to cybercrime.gov.in
- Click on the ‘File a complaint’ button, accept the terms and conditions, and choose among the given options to report the case. There is also an option of reporting anonymously.
- To report other cyber crimes, click on ‘Report other cyber crimes’