Cyber extortion cases on the rise

SINGAPORE - The police reported a three-fold increase in cyber extortion cases involving foreign female suspects this year.

As of July 2012, there have been at least 32 reported cases where the suspects attempted to extort money by threatening to circulate photos or videos of their victims in compromising acts.

There were 11 such cases reported last year.

The female foreign suspects would get to know their victims through social networking platforms such as Tagged.com or Facebook. They would then initiate cybersex over webcam conversations by undressing themselves first, before encouraging their victims to appear nude or perform sexual acts in front of the webcam.

Unknown to the men, they were filmed during such cyber-sex sessions. Subsequently, the suspects threatened to circulate the compromising videos and photos of their victims to extort money from them.

The police advises the public to be cautious of strangers online, and not to accede to any request that can put them in a compromising position.

If caught in such a situation, the victim should not to hand over any money to the extortionist and should contact the authorities immediately.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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