By: Sikandar Gulzar/Mubashir Bhat
Srinagar: The netizens mostly social-media users in Kashmir have been persistently complaining (for nearly a month now) of being harassed by hackers through anonymous video calls, links and messages, seeking from the former, money in lieu of morphed videos.
A 25-year-old Anantnag district resident said he had received a video call from a girl last month.
“The call was disconnected soon after and I thought it ended like that only. However, days after I again received another call, this time from a boy who asked me to pay money amounting to fifty-thousand rupees or else they would put my video on Internet. On being asked about which video, the caller showed a vulgar clip, where I could see my morphed face on a person doing some obscene acts. Perturbed by the video, however without having much resources, I abided to pay some money to which they settled at eleven thousand rupees, which I paid them through an MPay Account. However, they made calls to me even after that pushing me into a state of depression. I thought of committing suicide, however after suggested by one of my friend, I reported the incident to Cyber Police who asked me about the numbers’ from which I had received the calls”, the youth said.
“I shared the details as they (Cyber Police) assured me of my safety even as asking me not to worry about the issue”, the youth said adding that “However I am getting blues about the incident even now.”
Another person from Khrew area of Pampore, Pulwama working as a Painter, facing the same situation, said that he received a Video call on his WhatsApp number, which lasted for merely five seconds. “Later on, I was called from another number who demanded Rs 3150 from me and threatened that if I didn’t they would make my video viral.”
“I approached Cyber Police, who according to the victim, asked him to delete WhatsApp from my phone even as get a new SIM Card,” he said.
A media-person, working with a Srinagar-based daily said few days back he received an anonymous link. “On clicking the link, I was redirected to some obscene site, whereupon I was tried to be engaged in a video call”.
When contacted, SSP Cyber Police Tahir Ashraf said the department is making all possible efforts to curb these activities, aimed by hackers to endanger the safety and security of internet users.
“Cyber Police has already launched an awareness drive among general public about such crimes”, the official said adding that “We do have to go for more awareness nevertheless utilize all sources available to track these blackmailers.”
The official concerned however in the meantime requested general public not to respond on bogus content and asked to restrain themselves from picking up video calls or regular calls from unknown numbers. (GNS)