Sextortion cases on the rise in Pune city

Prateek Goyal
Thursday, 14 December 2017

Pune: Rakshit Singh (name changed) from Pune working in Dubai never knew that his actions during a ‘sex chat’ with his wife on a video call will land him in soup. He became a victim of an extortion network where people are blackmailed using their sexual images. Welcome to the world of sextortion, a deadly mixture of sex and extortion, which is spreading roots in Pune too! 

Pune: Rakshit Singh (name changed) from Pune working in Dubai never knew that his actions during a ‘sex chat’ with his wife on a video call will land him in soup. He became a victim of an extortion network where people are blackmailed using their sexual images. Welcome to the world of sextortion, a deadly mixture of sex and extortion, which is spreading roots in Pune too! 

Even the Interpol is grappling with sextortion. A alarming trend in Pune was recently noticed as almost a dozen case cropped up within a fortnight, according to cyber security experts and police. 

Unreliable Wi-Fi
Singh became the victim of sextortion as he was using an unreliable Wi-Fi network. 

A source privy to the investigation said, “The victim was on an unreliable network which is why the racketeer got access to his sexual images and demanded 5,000 Dirham from him. The sextortionist threatened to send these raunchy images to all contacts in his Gmail account, and even sent it on victim’s phone to convey that these were not empty threats.”
Cities and villages

A source working with National Technical Research Organisation said, “Sextortion is on rise in India and especially in bigger cities. It has reached every place where Internet is accessible, even to villages as well. These Internet criminals generally target juveniles and loners after occupying all the information on them through social media and other 
networks.” 

“The primary motive of sextortion networks is make money, the person operating these networks doesn’t care about the emotional damage to their victims. However, the local police in our country are not taking sextortion seriously and are not aware about it,” the source said. 

Rohan Nyayadheesh, a cyber security expert, said, “Sextortion is the latest weapon of cyber crime and has become notorious in 2017. It’s even used by couples who are filing for divorce and by couples who are in live-in relationships, mainly to get rid of each other.” 

Ashay Rege, another cyber security specialist said, “Cases of Sextortion were rare in India till 2016. Microsoft in its study mentioned that this year, 77 per cent Indian have reported sextortion and revenge porn. The victims of sextortion networks become the puppet of their abuser who sometimes extorts money and sometimes force them to continue sending their 
sexual information to them. Sextortion just damages the person psychologically too.”

Sextortion on the rise
† A Pune girl became the victim who indulged in an erotic chat on Skype with a man who claimed to be a native of London. During the sex chat he asked her to take off her clothes. 
However, a few hours later, the girl received a message that her video will be sent to all her relatives and will be posted on You Tube.
† Sextortion is considered as sexual blackmail in order to extort money, sexual favors and even separation from the victim after acquiring her/his sexual images. 
† The sextortion networks have a wide base in Asia as well as Africa who are also targeting victims across the world.
† Many victims of sextortion have ended up their life by committing suicide.

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