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A 68-year-old Gujarati man had sex on a WhatsApp video call and he lost Rs 2.7 crore

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadJan 12, 2023 | 16:37

A 68-year-old Gujarati man had sex on a WhatsApp video call and he lost Rs 2.7 crore

Beware of anonymous WhatsApp calls! Photo: DailyO

Scammers are coming up with creative ways to steal your money. In one such case, a 68-year-old businessman from Gujarat was conned of Rs 2.7 crore in a few months after one wrong WhatsApp video call. 

Here's what happened: 

  • The man, who runs a renewable energy business, was extorted of Rs 2.7 crore by at least 11 callers between August and December 2022, as per a Times of India report. 
  • It all began on August 8, 2022 with a WhatsApp video call.
At around 10 pm on August 8, a girl named Ria Sharma sent me a message saying that she was from Morbi. After a couple of seconds, she made a video call and pressured me to have virtual sex. I refused initially, but she said nothing would happen to me and I decided to continue the video call.
- The complainant said
  • The call only lasted for a minute before the girl disconnected it. But she called again, this time demanding Rs 50,000 or she would post his naked video online.
  • The man, scared by the blackmailing, gave her Rs 50,000 which led to more such threat calls. 
  • He later received 11 such calls from unknown people posing as police officers and other government officers, who in total extorted Rs 2.7 crore from him.
  • First, 'Inspector Guddu Sharma of Delhi Police' demanded Rs 3 lakh to not file an FIR. 
  • Then, a man posing as a cop from Delhi Police Cyber Crime demanded Rs 80.77 lakh to pay off other officers to not file an FIR.
  • Then the victim got another call from a man posing as a CBI officer, who claimed Ria Sharma had died by suicide and demanded Rs 30 lakh to make his legal troubles go away.
  • He was also sent fake court orders and documents to convince him of the 'case'. This went on till December 27, 2022.
  • Finally, the victim approached the police for extortion, forgery and impersonation by unknown people. 

WhatsApp sextortion racket: The sextortion racket over WhatsApp video calls isn't new. Often the ones falling prey to such scams are older men with clumsy knowledge of technology. It is usually advised not to answer unknown WhatsApp calls; especially video calls. Even if it does happen, it is best to seek the help of the police as the extortion and blackmail door once open, doesn't close that easily. 

With Love From Taiwan: 'It's not just sextortion over WhatsApp calls that are scammers' new favourite method of conning, some even call random people claiming that their 'FedEx package' sent from Place A to usually Taiwan was held by the customs department for trying to smuggle drugs. One Twitter user narrated this harrowing tale of how she was almost conned by this ruse despite not being technologically challenged. 

Even if you don't live in Place A or never sent a 'FedEx package' in your life, the scammers usually say that the package is linked to the victim's Aadhaar card and that's how it will be traced back to them. This is usually accompanied by fake government and police officers' ID cards and other documents. 

Scammers also love to impersonate government agencies and officials. So, the next time you get calls that seem a little 'off', or too good to be true, reach out to the real police in person.

Last updated: January 12, 2023 | 16:37
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