Gang extorts money with footage of sexual scenes

UAE victims are among those ensnared by an international gang of cyber criminals who lure people into sharing sexually explicit video clips, before putting them online and demanding money for their removal.

The Abu Dhabi Police are warning residents to be careful online, after they received a number of complaints from victims who were hoodwinked by the criminals, who pose as beautiful woman.

Criminal Investigation Department Director Colonel Dr Rashid Mohammad Burasheed said the gang, who targeted the Arabian Gulf, had recently begun threatening victims in the country, who were using social networking sites, with the revealing recordings. They were made in response to sexual images of the women they were supposedly talking to, though Burasheed said the footage was just duplicated scenes and the women were not connected to the criminals.

He said the victims told police they were blackmailed by that gang which extorted money from them by promising to remove the compromising video clips from a free video-sharing website on the Internet. The money was then to be transferred to offshore bank accounts.

“Blackmailers target the youth, particularly males, and chat with them through PC chatting applications over social networking sites like Skype,” he noted, adding the gang used nicknames for the supposed women, dubbed voices and showed videos of exposed parts of their bodies.

Burasheed called on Internet users not to trust strangers who they meet over the Internet or e-mails sent from suspicious websites.

“Since these criminals are working from outside the country, it is difficult for the Abu Dhabi Police to locate them, but it is not impossible as Abu Dhabi Police address and pass the information to the security bodies at countries where such kind of crimes are known, so to locate the criminals and arrest them,” he said.



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