Fraudsters choose their targets meticulously and then use girls to engage men on WhatsApp. The conversation begins with calls and gradually progresses to texting and video chatting. The video chats are then recorded and morphed into adult clips to blackmail the men. In their WhatsApp DP (display picture), the accused pose as police officers. Even creating suicide episodes to add weight to their narrative, they falsely claim the girls in the video committed suicide.
Fraudsters threatened to upload morphed videos to social media if money wasn’t paid to two retired government employees. The victim in one case received a fake police notice on WhatsApp demanding Rs 1 crore compensation for the woman in the clip, citing harassment and mental trauma. The victims were extorted of Rs 7-8 lakh in both cases. Narvir Singh Rathore, additional superintendent of police (Cyber Crime), said 97 percent of complainants avoided registering cases due to social stigma. 95 percent of the 55 complaints came from men in the age group of 45 to 75. Eighty percent of the victims paid the ransom.
Rathore warned people not to interact with strangers on WhatsApp after months of digital scouting. In Rajasthan and Haryana, such practices are mainly practiced by school dropouts and uneducated teenagers in areas such as Mewat, Bharatpur, Alwar, and Nagar. According to sources, the accused honey trapped well-off men before blackmailing them by threatening to make fake sexually explicit content viral.
Police said male scammers created fake profiles of girls in some cases, while voice-modulation apps were used to change male voices to female voices for “sexting” over WhatsApp, which was followed by stripping video calls to honey trap victims. Extortionists were using girls to trap victims and extortionists were using cryptocurrency wallets to receive payment.