Sextortion is on the rise across Hyderabad as people indulge in watching porn and porn acts due to lockdown. Most people are idle due to COVID restrictions and this has led to a sudden spike in such cases say Hyderabad police. Sextortion which was common in the West in the past is now a reality in India say, officials. The Cyber police have received at least five complaints over the past two months, where citizens after visiting pornographic websites were caught in the trap of extortionists.
The extortionists get hold of their victims on Facebook, online apps, and the process is carried out in various methods. One ‘regular’ method is to chat with an unsuspecting person posing as a woman and then making the victim send compromising pictures, which are then used for blackmail.
Another way is to place links on pornographic sites. Once a person clicks on them, they record the victim’s activities. However, a more serious form of sextortion is to ask for sexual favors from their victims instead of money.
The cases have reached a point where some trapped people are committing suicide to avoid being publicly shamed. One victim’s sister claims she got a ransom message on Facebook from one lady. Once the sister provided her with a relative’s phone number, another person called her and demanded Rs 21,000 as the final settlement for deleting a compromising video.
The lady it was found had three managers – Moin Khan, Robin Khan, and Javed. The lady happened to have a fake handle to lure men into performing sexual acts on video calls. Then her handlers would come into the picture and demand money.
This is a trending modus operandi, say, police officials. Sextortion refers to a practice wherein a person is blackmailed for posing nude or perform sexual acts on camera. The cases have increased rapidly especially after COVID 19 lockdown, it has been observed.
Even minors are being targeted by such gangs on social media. Recently, there has been an incident of a minor being coerced into sending nude pictures of her parents. The matter was taken to the police who registered a case of criminal intimidation and extortion.
The cyber police say that there is a link between sextortion and the consumption of pornography. According to data released by PornHub in April 2020, there has been a 95 percent hike in India’s consumption of pornography. It has been found that sextortionists have been operating through porn websites.