Dubai: Dubai Police’s Al Ameen Service has urged victims of online blackmail to be strong while facing the extortionists and contact authorities.
Ahmad Al Harithi, social media expert at Al Ameen Service, said extortion attempts can be foiled if the victim shows strong personality to the extortionist and waste no time in reporting such incidents.
Recently, a famous social media influencer became a victim of online extortion after a video of him in an inappropriate condition was recorded and a suspect attempted to blackmail him by demanding a big amount of money against posting it online.
“A woman on Instagram contacted the victim on direct messages and after a month of the online relationship, they start talking on WhatsApp. The extortionist recorded inappropriate clip of the victim,” Al Harithi said.
The Arab national victim received a call from a stranger asking for an amount of money in order not to publish the clip online.
The extortionist made an account on YouTube using the victim’s name and pictures and posted the video before sending the link to the victim to show they are serious.
“Many people share their full names on social media with pictures of their daily life. It is wrong as others can take advantage of that.”
Al Harithi, said the victim alerted Al Ameen Service asking for help.
“He was devastated as he was afraid on his reputation. We asked him to show a strong personality to the extortionist and not to answer their calls. We deleted the videos and blocked the new account and after ten days the calls stopped and his problem was solved,” Al Harithi said.
Al Ameen Service said that showing weakness can encourage scamsters to target more victims.
“If the scamsters face a person with strong personality and deal with them like he doesn’t care, then they will stop. Most of the time they used women to deceive men on social media.”
The most effective way to deal with extortion or blackmail is to report the crime right away.
“Agreeing to pay will only make matters worse. Once the criminal realises that you are willing to pay they will only make further demands in an attempt to drain your cash and victimise you further,” Al Harithi added.