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Bengaluru cops arrested a 21-year old Instagram blackmailer for extorting money and jewellery from a 17-year old teenager.
Here’s what happened:
Vishwa, a 21-year post-grad student from Bengaluru impersonated two 17-year old teenagers on Instagram to make some easy money.
Vishwa came across the Instagram profiles of a teenage girl and a boy who were regularly liking and commenting on each others’ Instagram posts.
Vishwa created a fake Instagram profile of the girl and started chatting with the boy who assumed that he is chatting with his girlfriend. In reality, he was chatting with Vishwa.
Vishwa impersonated the girl’s Instagram profile to obtain nude pictures from the boy. Meanwhile, Vishwa also impersonated the boy’s account to chat with the girl and started getting nude pictures from her.
Unfortunately, the duo had no idea about Vishwa as they were under the impression that they are chatting with each other.
In December 2018, things turned ugly when Vishwa started blackmailing the boy from another fake account. Vishwa threatened the boy to make his pictures public on the internet if Rs 10 lakh was not paid.
In January 2019, the boy started stealing money from his own house to pay Vishwa. The boy’s father realised a huge chunk of cash and jewellery was missing from his house.
Finally, the boy confessed and the police registered a complaint against the blackmailer earlier this month.
Bengaluru police got the boy to contact Vishwa and pay him more money. Police arrested Vishwa when he came to collect the money. Cash was recovered from Vishwa.
Police said Vishwa had photos of the girl and he was also planning to blackmail her in the same manner.
The incident once again highlights problems with children’s online safety, especially when it comes to using social media and messaging apps.
Recently, there was a report that Instagram users are affected by a new phishing scam called ‘The Nasty List,’ that seals users’ login credentials.
Instagram users are advised to enable two0factor authentication. All they need to do is go to Settings > Privacy and security > Security > Two-factor authentication.