People there are many scams, blackmails and numerous other schemes to get money from innocent people going on around the world. People must be leery of telephone calls, emails and mail that they’re receiving on a daily basis. There have been many innocent people drawn into schemes and unknowingly get caught up in it before they find they’re being scammed.
ABC News has reported 100 or more Filipino suspects were linked to an online blackmail syndicate that extorts money from victims throughout the world that lures people into exposing themselves in front of webcams or to engage in lewd chats, according to a Philippine police official stated on Tuesday.
There were 58 arrests in Manila and in three other outlying regions a couple weeks ago in a crackdown backed by Interpol and police from four different countries, including the United States, according to authorities. Online chats from the victims’ computers helped to trace and track down the suspects.
An investigation has linked 100 more suspects to the syndicates as well as some who received a share of money they extorted from victims according to the Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa of the police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group. He stated, “If evidence shows their involvement, the additional suspects will be arrested and charged.”
“Suspects will keep a low profile after initial arrests,” according to Sosa; and saying, “But international collaboration and information-sharing helps to identify and to track them down.”
These syndicates prey on mainly male victims by providing and employing women with fake Facebook accounts to strike up chats online to become acquainted with them. Victims are then conned into engaging in lewd talk, exposing themselves before a webcam or to perform a sexual act, which are secretly recorded and then used as a blackmail factor, according to Philippine police.
Since there are wider internet accesses, a lower risk of arrest and big financial gains has caused the crimes to flourish in current years in many of the countries.
There could be “hundreds of thousands” victims according to Interpol but it’s difficult to estimate the numbers; and Interpol says, “The online extortion groups generally ask for $500 from each victim but they may demand as much as $15,000.”
Daniel Perry, a 17-year-old mechanic in Scotland, partly sparked the crackdown in the Philippines, because he took his own life in July last year after he was victimized by a Filipino extortion group. He killed himself according to the BBC after being warned that his video conversations were going to be circulated to his family and friends if he didn’t pay up.
Perry was said to have been victimized by three of the 58 arrested Filipino suspects, who jumped off a bridge after being blackmailed by the syndicate, according to Sosa.
In my opinion an innocent reply to one of these scams might find an individual caught up in a scam that will haunt them for life.
Barbara Kasey Smith is the writer of this article and it is based on an Associated Press report as reported by ABC News.
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