Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, October 3
The complaints of sextortion and sexually explicit content in the cyber space have increased by 250 per cent in the past 21 months but FIRs were lodged only by 3.33 per cent victims as 96.67 per cent complainants avoided it due to the fear of social stigma.
As per the data procured by the police, there was not even a single complaint pertaining to sextortion and sexually explicit content in 2017, 2018 and 2019. However, 80 complaints were received in 2020 and the number swelled to 250 in the first nine months of 2021 till September 25 but only 11 of the 330 complainants (3.33 per cent) came forward to file an FIR.
The most common practice adopted by cyber criminals is chatting and befriending people, winning their confidence, getting intimate and blackmailing, said IG, Cyber Crime (CID), Atul Fulzele.
Elderly men are being targeted through attractive profiles of women on the Facebook to lure them for further engagement and the complainants approach the police when they are subjected to blackmailing, he said, adding that cyber criminals are operating from Mewar and the Nagar region of Rajasthan, besides Haryana.
People are approached through social networking sites and phone numbers are exchanged. Gradually, nudity creeps in the chats which are recorded on the screen by criminals and misused for blackmailing. Other complaints included the creation of fake profiles and IDs, virtual stalking, transmitting sexually explicit material and blackmailing by morphing photographs.
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