Cyprus Mail

Police say sextortion on the rise

With internet extortion incidents on the rise, the police’s Cybercrime Unit on Saturday issued a statement urging caution to social media users, particularly males.

The statement described how Cypriot internet users are tricked into performing acts that may expose them to extortion.

According to complaints received by the unit, male users of social media – mainly Facebook – receive friendship requests from other users, posing as foreign attractive female users clad in provocative outfits or bathing suits.

After accepting the friendship request, contact is initiated using the ‘chat’ feature, from where the woman urges the unsuspecting victim to continue the conversation on an internet communication platform, such as Skype.

Once connected via real-time video, the female user starts performing lewd sexual acts, urging the man to follow suit.

After disconnecting the internet call, the female user returns with a message, threatening to forward the recorded video session to the man’s contacts on social media, unless he pays a sum of money.

This practice, termed ‘sextortion’, is a global phenomenon, police said, urging the public to exercise extreme caution.

Victims, it added, should under no circumstances pay any sum to the extortionists because they will simply come back with more demands.

Police said it is almost impossible to track the criminals down, as that the information they present is completely fictitious and they work out of Asian and African countries.

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