S'poreans scammed in online 'sextortion'

S'poreans scammed in online 'sextortion'
Evidence seized during raids on a sextortion ring.

A 17-year-old boy in Scotland killed himself after being caught up in the scam.

In Hong Kong, more than 600 people, many aged between 20 and 30, fell victim to the same "sextortion" scam since the beginning of last year.

The scammers targeted people of varying ages in countries including Singapore, Indonesia, the US and Australia.

The scam involved the extorters creating fake identities of attractive young women to make contact with people overseas via Facebook and other social media.

"After getting acquainted with the victims...they engage in cybersex and this will be recorded unknown to the victims," Philippine police chief Alan Purisima said, adding that pornographic content was used to lure them into the sexual acts. "They then threaten to release it to friends and relatives."

Blackmail demands ranged from US$500 (S$630) to US$15,000, said Interpol, which described extremely well-run businesses controlled by organised crime gangs.

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