Hyderabad: Downloading online dating apps and filling them with personal information without being aware of its purpose could prove to be risky for young girls and guys. The information can be used to sexually harass and extort money by unscrupulous persons who frequent internet sites and social media platforms.
The incident of a youngster who faked his financial background and started ‘virtual dating’ a girl he met on a dating app and ended up getting kidnapped and eventually killed in a northern state of India earlier this month is an example of why one should always be cautious, said Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar. Many victims are from rural areas of the city, and a sizeable number of them are minors.
“I would caution the young generation in particular as they tend to resort to blind dates and accept friend requests from unknown individuals,” the commissioner said. “There are ways to check the authenticity of a person who wants to connect with you and this should be done by the public. The same rule applies to dating apps and social media platforms.”
In April this year, a Hyderabadi man was duped by a woman he met online, who claimed to be from Singapore. Narrating the incident, he said, “I received a friend request from a girl from Singapore with the name Criztine Lea Wetpacks. After accepting it, she told me that she is working in a dental clinic and is interested in making new friends.”
They often had short chats and after a while, she asked him for video chats and things went well until last Tuesday. “I received an obscene video and the pictures seemed to be morphed on my WhatsApp from an unknown number who started threatening me by demanding that they would post the video and pictures to all my near and dear ones on social media and will damage my reputation if I do not send the money.”
The victim works for an events management business and is respected in social circles. With the fraudsters constantly threatening him he finally decided to transfer Rs 30,000 to them.
Nothing is a secret in the internet era and one should be beware of strangers and never post personal pictures and videos and repent later, cautions the Cyber Crimes police.
“They are trapping the gullible in the name of job frauds, lottery frauds, matrimonial frauds, and gifts frauds. Fake officials make phishing calls posing as customs officials. Now, people are using social media friendships and online dating for the purpose of extorting money,” a cyber police official said....