A man in his 20s was arrested in Delhi on Saturday for allegedly being part of a group that trapped a city doctor through social media and blackmailed him with threats to circulate screenshots of his purported chats with a nude person.
Police said the accused person, identified as Caran Rastogi, was part of a “sextortion” racket.
“First, they had befriended the complainant through a fake Facebook profile and started chatting with him online. Once the phone numbers were exchanged, the complainant received video calls on his phone from a nude person,” said an officer.
The doctor disconnected the calls but by then the fraudsters had taken screenshots of him and the nude caller sharing the screen.
The doctor, a resident of Phoolbagan, lodged a police complaint in September last year.
During the investigation, the police found the video calls came from numbers in Maharashtra and Delhi.
“According to the complaint, the doctor had transferred Rs 11 lakh to the account of the fraudsters to prevent his photographs from being circulated,” said an officer in Lalbazar.
But extortion calls kept coming even after that.
By tracing the beneficiary account where the money had been transferred, the cops said to have zeroed in on Rastogi.
“Out of the Rs 11 lakh, Rs 5 lakh was transferred to Caran Rastogi’s account. He received only a part of the money that has been swindled out of Rastogi,” the officer said.
“Rastogi is one of the six persons named in the FIR registered in the case. We are searching for the remaining five,” the officer said.
Rastogi was produced in a city court on Sunday and remanded in police custody till January 28.
Many people fall prey to such online frauds, and are trapped and then blackmailed. The police said a large number of such cases are not reported to them because victims fear embarrassment.
“We always advise people not to answer video calls from unknown numbers or from people whom you have never met in person,” said an officer in Lalbazar.
How to remain cautious against “friends” you have met on social media:
■ Never share personal/ intimate photographs with them
■ Never share personal details like mother’s maiden name, date of birth or bank account details with them
■ Never receive video calls from unknown numbers
■ Never transfer money to virtual friends
■ If someone tries to blackmail you, contact police