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Saturday, February 25, 2012

BEWARE: Blackmailed after sex

Sulaiman Kamal | 7:10 PM | | | Best Blogger Tips

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IT SEEMED almost too good to be true. Ben (not his real name) was pleasantly surprised when he logged on to Facebook on Feb 1 and found that an attractive young woman wanted to be his friend.


But he admitted that he felt suspicious at first.


Ben told The New Paper (TNP) on Tuesday: "I asked her, 'Do I know you?' and she told me that she had just randomly chosen me to be her Facebook friend.


"She also told me that she did so after spotting my profile on another friend's page."

Attracted by a picture of a doe-eyed, buxom woman on her Facebook page, Ben added her to his list of friends without sparing another thought.


The pair started chatting online.


Ben, who is in his mid-teens, recalled: "She asked me to show myself via my web camera. I turned it on, but she did not show herself, so I turned my camera off.


"She asked me why I did so, and I told her that I would not show myself if she refused to do likewise."


The woman, who claimed to be a 20-year-old student at a polytechnic, agreed to show herself the next time they communicated on Feb 2.


"She appeared in the nude, but did not show her face. She danced a little bit and I was turned on by what I saw," said Ben with a chuckle.


"The woman then asked me to expose my private parts. I was a bit shy at first but after a steamy online conversation, I finally gave in to temptation.


"The woman asked me to masturbate, and so I did. But she turned off her camera minutes later."


The woman later asked Ben to transfer $500 into her bank account. If he refused, she threatened to post the video online.


Ben said that the woman then gave him her bank account number.


"At first, I was quite worried. But later, I just shrugged it off. I refused to give her the money."


Ben told TNP that he has never met the woman in person.


"She kept on pestering me for money via Facebook, but I ignored all the messages. They only stopped coming in this week."


The video was later uploaded on a website but has since been taken down.


Ben told TNP that he made a police report on Sunday. The police confirmed this and said that investigations are ongoing.


TNP visited the woman's Facebook page and found that she has 174 people in her list of friends.


She claims that she lives in Yishun and works for a clothing store.


TNP sent her messages via Facebook asking for her side of the story, but they went unanswered.


The teenage boy is the latest of several people who fell victim to online sex scams.


Cyber experts like Mr Patrick Lim of cybersecurity provider Ademco Security Group said users should always err on the side of caution when confronted with such offers.


Social engineering


He said: "These operators are trained to do social engineering and to trick you into revealing your personal information.


"You should never compromise your position when you are chatting online with people you do not know, especially when there is a danger of the other party recording whatever it is you are doing online."


Lawyer Gloria James-Civetta said the woman could have committed an act of extortion.


She added that it could be easy for the authorities to track the woman down, as she had given Ben her bank account number.


If convicted, she could be jailed between two and seven years.


Ms James-Civetta said the boy had not committed an offence, even though he had exposed his private parts to the woman.


She said: "This is because there was a two-way exchange between both parties, and that the woman knew and went along with it.


Other online scams


Cybersex blackmail


JUST last month,The New Paper (TNP) reported on a man who was threatened with blackmail after he had cybersex with a woman he met via Tagged, a social networking website.


William (not his real name) masturbated via his web camera before the woman, known only as "Celine".


She then asked the 20-year-old student for his e-mail address on the pretext of adding himas a friend on Facebook.


He accepted her Facebook friend request, but was surprised when she later sent him a text file with a list of all his friends on the portal.


Celine, who claimed to be in her 20s, asked William to send $1,000 to a Western Uniona ccount, otherwise she would send his friends a video clip of him masturbating.


William ignored her and that was the last he heard of Celine.


'Lolita' sex traps


TNP also reported last November on scammers who pose online as underage girls willing to have sex with their potential victims.


Those who agreed to meet the girls were threatened by the girls' angry "fathers", followed by a call from a "police officer".


They were told that they could be arrested for sexually grooming a minor- an offence which carries a three-year jail term and a fine - unless they paid off the "fathers" to not make police reports.


Internet love scams


Me nare not the only victims. Last October, a Singaporean woman in her 40s was cheated out of almost $400,000 after meeting a man on a dating website.


Police statistics released earlier this month showed the number of Internet love scam cases almost tripled last year, from just 21 in 2010 to 62.


The amount of money cheated rose from $824,000 in 2010 to $2.3 million last year.




Info : News
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