Published: 17th October 2020
How scamsters blackmail women via video calls and what could be done to stay safe online
This week, The Coach discusses the big bad world out there, especially for women and the elderly, and what we can do to make it a more safe and secure place for them. Read on to find out more...
Recently, during an important meeting, my mother kept getting video calls on Google Duo from an unknown number. The continuous calls made her worried and she answered, simply because she’s a well known paediatrician and thought that a patient might be desperately trying to reach her. But to her HORROR, it was an obscene video call from a STRANGER! She was SHOCKED and TAKEN ABACK, but ensured that she blocked the number right away! I was furious when I heard about this, as I couldn’t do much and felt helpless. Here, I am doing my best to ensure that none of you face such horrific situations and will do my best to help out those who unfortunately have.
The Modus Operandi
Perverted men are using different apps that change both the country code and phone number, after which they randomly call phone numbers. If the number is answered by women, then these pathetic individuals store those numbers and start making obscene video calls. And it doesn’t END HERE! During the video calls and even before the women realise what’s happening, these men take a SCREENSHOT and later blackmail these women to either have sex chats, share nude photos/videos or even extort money by threatening to post these pictures on social media. No wonder women are afraid to come forward. How do we deal with this? Well here are some things to keep in mind and follow.
First & foremost: Don’t SHRUG IT OFF or be afraid to REPORT THESE INCIDENTS. The more that we ignore these as a ONE TIME THING or don’t do anything about it, these PERVERTS will get bolder and feel invulnerable.
An EYE for an eye...
Use the same apps and social media to immediately spread the message across and also tag the social media accounts of the relevant authorities. You can also register a complaint at the Ministry of Home Affairs’ cybercrime website (www.cybercrime.gov.in).
Learn to USE to avoid being ABUSE(D): We all blindly install apps without even looking at the permissions that it requires. The first step that needs to be taken is to search for the options in SECURITY settings in most apps and allow only KNOWN contacts or people’s whose numbers are stored in your phone to be allowed to contact you.
There’s one very simple practice that I’ve taught that’s made a BIG DIFFERENCE in the lives of women whom I know. I always recommend to NOT ANSWER unknown calls with suspicious country codes and immediately BLOCKING and reporting them. If it is silent, you should be too, at least you won’t give perverts like these a confirmation about whom the number belongs to and that’ll save a lot of trouble. Though it pains me when I see to what levels individuals STOOP DOWN to, I think that it’s high time that women held their head high without fearing anything and report cases like these as soon as possible. I did too!