Police have seen an increase in the number of cyber extortion cases involving foreign female suspects in 2012. In 2012, more than 50 such cases were reported where the suspects attempted to extort money from the victims after threatening to post photographs or videos of the victims online following a cyber-sex session over webcam. This marks almost a five-fold increase from the 11 such cases involving foreign female suspects reported for the whole of 2011.
The female foreign suspects would usually get acquainted with the male victims via social networking websites like Tagged.com or Facebook. Thereafter, they would commence a webcam conversation with the victims and initiate cybersex by undressing themselves first before persuading the male victims to appear nude or perform sexual acts in front of the webcams. Unknown to the victims, the suspects had recorded the acts. These suspects would then threaten to circulate compromising photographs and videos of the victims to extort money from them.
The public is advised to take the following preventive measures when interacting online:
• Be wary of messages from unknown people who want to befriend you.
• Do not accede to any request that may put you in vulnerable positions, such as performing compromising acts in front of the webcam, or giving personal details about yourself when interacting with other internet users.
• If anyone attempts to extort money from you or should you become a victim of such an attempt, call the police immediately.
• Do not remit or transfer money.