KUALA LUMPUR: It was a seemingly innocent "friend" request on social media from an attractive woman, and Lim, a 20-year-old student, thought it harmless enough to accept.
Little did he imagine that it would lead to the nightmare of being blackmailed by the woman, who used the name Angel Capistrano online, and later threatened to release a nude video of him.
Lim's ordeal started last Friday when he accepted Capistrano's friend request.
"It was a random friend request, but I accepted it," he said, adding that he started chatting with Capistrano, who claimed to be from the Philippines, shortly after that.
Lim said she asked to have a video chat with him on Saturday. He agreed.
"She started stripping (on video) and asked me to do the same, so I did," he said.
On Sunday, the woman sent Lim a video link, allegedly of him nude, demanding RM1,500(S$473) and threatening to make the video public if he did not pay her soon.
"It's very useless if you try to block me," she added in an accompanying message.
Lim said he was horrified when he received the threat.
"I felt embarrassed and helpless. I didn't know what to do," he said.
He then sought MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong's help.
Chong helped Lim lodge a report at the Cheras police station on Monday.
"I told him not to pay," said Chong at a press conference at Wisma MCA here yesterday.
"If you pay once, they will keep on demanding and they will never stop," he said, adding that he was also sure that the photos used by Capistrano were of another woman.
"I'm sure she is a victim too," he said.
He said that victims of similar scams should go to the authorities instead of paying up.
"I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, there might be more victims who are too ashamed to come forward," he said.
He added that victims should come forward so that they could receive counselling for the trauma they have gone through.
"People need to also be vigilant and not fall for these type of scams," he said, adding that he received five complaints last year on similar scams.