Web users warned over online sex scam threat
Woman lures student into performing sex act in front of webcam, then tries to blackmail him
Internet users are being warned to be vigilant when making friends online after a woman persuaded a university student to perform sexual acts in front of his home webcam - and then threatened to post a video of the incident if he failed to pay HK$7,000.
The freshman, 20, who refused to send any money and contacted the police, is the latest victim in a string of online scams carried out by Asian women this year, police officers said.
"Exercise caution when you meet strangers on the internet and don't accede to any request that may put you in a vulnerable position," an officer warned.
There were at least 41 similar cases in the first 10 months of the year, according to police.
Thirteen of the victims, who were aged from 19 to 50, reported similar scams in the first six months, with some paying HK$7,800 and others HK$500 after they negotiated with the extortionist.
The latest victim, a sociology student, first met the woman through the chat room www.Tagged.com on Sunday. The sexual act occurred in the early hours on Thursday.
"Initial investigation showed the woman had taken off her clothes in front of her webcam to dupe the victim into taking off his," a police investigator said.
The woman secretly recorded footage of her victim and then sent him text messages.
"She threatened to circulate the footage online and send it to his friends on his contact list if he refused to pay," he said.
Police said the woman had demanded the money be paid into a Western Union account registered in the Philippines.
"He was so frightened he immediately logged off, switched off the computer and went to bed," the officer said. The victim lodged a complaint with police at about 8am the next morning.
Experts at the Commercial Crime Bureau technology crime division are set to carry out a forensic examination of the victim's computer in the hope police may be able to identify the perpetrator, who is thought to be aged between 25 and 35, through her IP address.
"If necessary, we will seek help from overseas law enforcement agencies through our Liaison Bureau," the officer said.
Internet users looking to make friends over the internet were advised "not make indecent acts or disclose personal information to others if you do not know them well".