‘Naked pics for cash’ victims urged to come forward

MORE than 200 people nationwide have fallen victim to the “naked pics for cash” scam that was blown wide open by South African Community Crime Watch (SACCW) last week.

According to Steven King of the SACCW, men and women, mostly from Durban and Gauteng, have allegedly been contacted via Facebook and WhatsApp, either by an attractive woman or a man, who offers to send naked pictures in return for explicit pictures of the target.

“When the victim refuses to do so, images edited or manipulated to look like the victim are sent to him or her, along with threats that the images will be posted onto social media unless an immediate payment is made,” said King.

He said investigations so far have revealed that it may be a syndicate at work, operating from Limpopo, and that multiple cellphone numbers were being used by the extortion gang.

“The victims of this scam range across all ages and professions, not just law enforcement officials, and the modus operandi seems to be the same,” he said.

“The perpetrator will take a photo of an attractive male or female off the net and use it as a profile picture. The perpetrator first contacts the target on Facebook and from there gains the cell number and the communication starts taking place on WhatsApp,” said King.

He said the next step is to start up a conversation, with the perpetrator offering to send a naked picture and asking for one in return. Some victims have sent pictures, which are then used for extortion, or if the victim has refused, the perpetrator photoshops the victim’s head onto a naked body.

“Threats are made to put these pictures onto social media. It is very embarrassing for the victim and payments that have been made were done via e-wallet or similar cash methods” said King.

King said SACCW is assisting the Hawks in Gauteng with the investigation and are urging people to open a case of extortion, should this happen to them.

Contact any of the SACCW members: Steven King on 082 920 5799, Marius Jacobs on 079 898 4539, Lourens Smit on 084 317 4149 or email Mike Venter SACCW Gauteng at [email protected], or report it to their nearest police station.

 

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  AUTHOR
Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay
Journalist

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