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It’s A Trap! 105 Victims Fall Prey To Sextortion, Six End Their Life: Report

More than 105 victims of honey trap/sextortion have been found including bureaucrats, lawyers, doctors and even retired police officers in the past year.

Edited By : Malika Sahni | Updated: Oct 5, 2023 15:40 IST
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More than 105 victims of honey trap/sextortion have been found including bureaucrats, lawyers, doctors and even retired police officers in the past year in Uttar Pradesh, News18 quoted referencing Cyber Crime.

Consequently, in order to prevent people from falling prey to such traps, the Uttar Pradesh Police Cyber Crime Unit and experts recommended that individuals change their privacy settings to ‘only me’ and be more vigilant while accepting friend requests. Moreover, cover their camera while accepting video calls from unknown numbers.

To spread awareness about such incidents and prevent social media users from falling into honey traps, the UP Police Cyber Crime Unit issued an advisory underscoring dos and don’ts. Furthermore, it highlighted, that “awareness is the only key that can avert such incidents and to keep the extortionists at bay”.

Among several victims, the latest victim of sextortion is Dr Chauhan of Ayurveda medical practitioner Dr AS Chauhan, from Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district. As a consequence of the incident, he resorted to committing suicide rather than taking action against the perpetrator.

The vicious cycle commenced last year on October 20 when the Doctor received a call from an unknown girl. A senior police officer familiar with the matter revealed that the girl called him on the pretext of her ailing mother requiring immediate medical attention. Subsequently, Chauhan reached the girl’s place unbeknownst to what was in store for him. To his surprise, the girl enticed the doctor to indulge in indecent acts. Following this, two people barged into the room. They clicked pictures and made videos of the doctor and started blackmailing him.

On December 4, 2022, Dr. Chauhan filed an FIR with the Bareilly Police. However, he faced severe pressure when the girl and her associates threatened to viralize his videos on social media.

BREAKTHROUGH: ALL-FEMALE GANG EXPOSED

After a seven-month investigation and Dr. Chauhan’s unfortunate demise, police authorities have unveiled a female gang involved in honey-trapping and extortion of the doctor, army personnel, and various government employees in Bareilly, as per the officials cited by News18’s reports.

Former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Prabhakar Chowdhary confirmed that Himani Sharma (22), originally from Badaun district, who was arrested in June in connection with Dr Chauhan’s case, revealed that she had introduced herself as Priya to Dr Chauhan. She disclosed that it was an all-female gang operated by a woman named Madhu. Together, they had extorted over Rs 9 lakh from seven individuals, including Dr Chauhan, two army personnel, a contractor, a government official, and a businessman over the past three years.

RISING CONCERN: SIX SUICIDES IN ONE YEAR, OVER 105 CASES IN UP

This case represents merely the visible part of a larger problem. According to data from the UP Police’s Cyber Crime Unit, over the past year, the state has reported more than 105 cases of honey traps and six suicides attributed to sextortion. However, cybercrime officials acknowledge that many unreported cases are likely to exist.

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First published on: Oct 05, 2023 03:40 PM IST

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