Police flags ‘sextortion’ on social media in Kashmir; Asks people not to video chat with strangers on Facebook, WhatsApp
Srinagar: Alarmed by the reports of growing ‘sextortion’ on social media, Jammu and Kashmir police have gone into an overdrive to aware the netizens about the online abusers and blackmailers in the valley.
Leading the charge is Cyber Police Station, Srinagar, which has launched a massive campaign on social media about online sextortion.
“Accepting random friend request, video call on Facebook or WhatsApp from strangers can land you in trouble. Blackmailers have devised a modus operandi to befriend people online and later get their photos and videos through a video call and morph these on pornographic photos and videos to blackmail the victim,” said Cyber Police.
Police noted that these blackmailers lure people by attractive photos on their Facebook and WhatsApp profile. “They engage the victim in a video call. During the call, the victim is shown a pornographic clip, and video is recorded or screenshots are taken simultaneously to blackmail the victim,” said police.
Cyber Police have issued detailed dos and don’ts to save the gullible people from falling into the prey of sextortion rackets.
“Don’t panic. Don’t accept any friend requests from strangers. Don’t engage in a video chat with strangers. Don’t succumb and never pay money. Immediately inform your family, friends, and relatives about it. Report it to the local police or cyber police. Preserve all evidence like screenshots for helping cops,” police said.
Police also promised confidentiality to the victim after he or she reports the matter. “You can be the victim of this. You are not alone and confidential support is available. You can get through this,” police said.
Senior Superintendent of Police, Cybercrime, Tahir Ashraf told The Kashmir Monitor that they have not registered any case so far. “We have received so many calls wherein people were asking about it. They have been asked for transferring money by showing these kinds of videos and all that,” he said.
Since the police received the calls, they decided to launch an awareness campaign to inform people about online ‘sextortion’.
“When we received so many calls, we thought it important to do some sort of awareness. However, we have not registered any case. We have not received any complaints regarding this,” he said.
SSP Cybercrime noted that they are using different mediums to reach out to the people and create awareness. “We are using a radio platform. We are using social media platforms. We are planning an awareness programme with different agencies,” he said.