How an extortionist gang morphed video calls on FB to blackmail

New Delhi, January 6

Accepting random Facebook requests from unknown persons can land you in trouble. Some gangs have devised a modus operandi to befriend people online and later engage them in video calls where an adult clip is shown to them, police said on Wednesday.

The gang records the video call which is later used to blackmail the victim and demand money, police said.

The Delhi police cyber cell has unearthed a gang operating from Bharatpur in Rajasthan which lured the victims by attractive photos in their Facebook profile. The victims were engaged in a brief chat and guided to a video call over Messenger or WhatsApp. During the call the victims were shown an adult clip and their video call was simultaneously recorded.

After sometime, they got extortion calls in the name of the offensive video made from the captured video chat. Amounts ranging from two to thirty thousand rupees were demanded. Some of the victims succumbed to those demands before reporting it to the police.

Multiple complaints were received at the Cyber Crime Unit (CyPAD) in the last few weeks regarding an online extortion racket of blackmailing people with edited and morphed videos.

“Technical help was provided by the labs of CyPAD and the location of the accused was zeroed in to Bharatpur, Rajasthan. The accused were using SIMs and bank accounts obtained using fake and bogus IDs, hence pin-pointing them was a challenge. Our teams on the basis of technical investigation arrested six accused,” said Anyesh Roy, DCP Cyber Crime.

Those arrested on Monday were identified as Waris, Rayees, Annay Khan, Wahid, Mufeed and Akram. All the accused are in the age group of 20-30 years and operated from Ishnaka village, Nagar tehsil of Bharatpur district in Rajasthan.

Seventeen mobile phones used to make extortion calls and sex chats and two ATM cards and documents of the bank accounts into which the extorted money had been transferred by various victims have been recovered from their possession.

On preliminary scrutiny of their mobile phones, information about more than 40 victims has been found. It is being analyzed to link them with the complaints received by Delhi police.

“Do not engage in video chats with strangers. Videos can be easily manipulated to harass and blackmail. Do not succumb to their blackmail and never pay any money. Immediately report the matter to your local police station or on online portal and share screenshots etc with the complaint,” the officer advised.


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