There is an increasing number of cases involving citizens from the African continent blackmailing young Saudi men for large sums of money by threatening to post footage of them performing cybersex, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.
The blackmailers, mostly from Morocco and Algeria, impersonate attractive women on Facebook and contact Saudi young men.
They then develop the relationship to include Skype chats and cybersex. The blackmailers save the video chats and use them to blackmail the victims for huge sums of money by threatening to post the videos on YouTube.
Some of the victims, who preferred to remain anonymous, said their intention was just to have fun and enjoy their time with what they thought to be women. Some even paid the ransom.
Cybercrimes expert Nidal Al-Mussary warned against engaging with anonymous people online.
He said: “There are many embezzlers and thieves out there in the cyber world. They disguise themselves on Facebook with pictures of attractive girls and then contact their victims via private messaging.
“After getting a hold of inappropriate footage, they threaten to post it on YouTube and even on their Facebook wall so all of their friends can see.” Al-Mussary added that he worked on five cases of cyber-blackmailing before.
The offenders asked for the money to be transferred via quick transfer methods that only require the name of the recipients’ accounts. With little information it is hard to catch the blackmailer and reveal his identity.
“I was able to get more information on two of the five blackmailing cases. The victim and I kept delaying the payment until we finally got their phone numbers.
“After that, we contacted the security authority in their country and then threatened the blackmailers to either back down or we would report them. “Most of them back away immediately and we never heard from them again.”
Giving advice to those victims who had their videos posted on YouTube by the blackmailers, Al-Mussary said they should remain calm and ask a friend for help.
“Try to get as much information out of the blackmailer as possible. “Information such as phone numbers, addresses, bank account numbers and the conversations proving the blackmail are very important.
“Then the victim can contact the police of the blackmailer’s country, the Saudi Embassy in the blackmailer’s country and the embassy of the blackmailer’s country in Saudi Arabia for help.”
Al-Mussary also urged the victims to contact Facebook and YouTube to inform them of the blackmail and have them remove the posts.
The victim should also reply to the blackmailer saying that he as his information and can report him to the police of his country.
In addition, the victim should report the case to the security authorities in the Kingdom through the cybercrimes department.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette, Dec. 11, 2014.SHOW MORE