Singaporean police have warned men in the city state of a five-fold increase in extortion cases in which they are coaxed into a state of undress, secretly filmed and then asked to hand over cash to prevent release of the resulting video.
Cops in the island nation said the number of such incidents has shot up from 11 in 2011 to over 50 last year.
Typically, the women involved contact their victims by sending messages on popular social networking sites, before persuading them to turn things up a notch with a web cam chat.
The extortionists then strip off, encouraging their gullible victims to do the same.
The secretly-filmed clip is then used as blackmail, sometimes uploaded to YouTube and shared with the victim in order to force payment, according to the Straits Times.
The women working the scam are unlikely to be caught, given that most apparently operate out of countries elsewhere in Asia. However, a 22-year old Singapore man was not so lucky after being nabbed by local cops last year for organising a similar cyber scam with his girlfriend.
After blackmailing a student to the tune of $97,000 over a period of nine months, they were eventually busted after their victim cracked and went to the police.
The man was sentenced to five years in prison and five strokes of the cane, Straits Times said.
Police issued a several pieces of blatantly obvious advice for lascivious males in the region including a warning not to perform “compromising acts in front of the webcam or give personal details about yourself when interacting with other internet users”. ®
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