As early as the end of 1990s, netizens have started to connect to the Internet by 56k modems.

Cybersex, naked chat, sex message

The origin of cybersex

As early as the end of 1990s, netizens have started to connect to the Internet by 56k modems. Using 100,000-pixel web cams to play cybersex across boundaries, interacting with strangers in front of the camera, netizens found the joy even with the low-quality displays in the old simple days.

Sweeping across the world: Sextortion

From around 2013, sextortion gangs have ravaged around the globe. There was even “naked chat village” operated in the Philippines, in which all villagers were lived on sextortion. It is reported that the local notorious Queen of Sextortion, Maria Caparas-Regalachuelo, was the first criminal who approached “hasty” men via MSN Messenger (ceased operation in 2014) and induced them to naked chat on Skype (actually, cybersex). During which, the video was recorded by the criminal, who then blackmailed the victims into remitting money using Western Union to Philippines. Most of the video clips used to induce victims were pre-recorded. Some of the “young girls” in the video clips were intersex. In other words, the “girl” who naked chat with the victims might be a “boy”.

That year, a 17-year-old Scottish male, Daniel Perry fell into the trap of sextortion. He committed suicide under repeatedly blackmailed by the criminals. The accident aroused huge attention in the Western countries. The INTERPOL organised a series of international arrest operations, in which Hong Kong also played its role. After rigorous raids, dozens of other Philippines gangs had been cracked down with Caparas arrested in 2016.

Second wave under the epidemic: Mutant sextortion

Sextortion has been dormant in Hong Kong for years before reappearance in 2020. The social distancing measures under the epidemic have shifted people’s life to online. Leveraging on this atmosphere, there are swindlers, who believed to come from the Mainland, approached men and induced them to naked chat on dating apps (e.g. Heymandi, Grindr, Yueme), then used the recorded videos to blackmail victims into paying ransom in the forms of point cards (e.g. Gash, MyCard), gift cards (e.g. iTunes gift card, google gift card) or virtual currencies.

The swindlers may even persuade victims to download malicious fake dating or live streaming apps to steal their contact lists for blackmailing them otherwise they will send the naked chat videos to their families and friends.

Another crisis: The Sexting trend

Sexting, i.e. Sex Texting, is sending sexually explicit messages, photos, or videos, which mainly refers to selfie naked photos or videos. In the Western countries, sexting among couples and teenagers has become common. Reasons for sexting can be flirting between couples, or a potential partner, or peer pressure. However, these images, once being uploaded to the cyber world, are very difficult to be completely removed and can be easily misused in cyber bullying, revenge and sextortion. Sharing the concerned images may also commit offences relating to “publishing any child pornography” and “publication or threatened publication of intimate images without consent”.

To protect yourself, better not take off your clothes.

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