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Online Scam > Cybersex breeds danger

Jim thought that online chats with girls would be a form of relaxation and entertainment. One girl in particular sounded really attractive. She invited him to turn on his webcam and show her his body. Poor Jim didn’t realise that he had fallen victim to an online scam.

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Even writing this , I feel embarrassed and ashamed. But I agreed to share my experience in the hope that other young people wouldn’t fall into the same trap . . .

Like every other 20-year-old guy, I was looking to be in a relationship. I went into chat rooms and left threads. One day last year, I checked my account, not really expecting much.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw that a lady
had answered my “friend” request. Her avatar showed a
sexy young girl. Of course I knew that avatars can be faked.She could be an old woman. “She” could even be a man! But there was no harm in checking her out online. I could always sign off if anything smelled fishy.

I started an online chat and it was even better than I’d dreamed. She was funny, interested in me and bold. She said things that turned me on. I couldn’t wait for our next “date”.

During our next e-date, she asked me to turn on my webcam. Even then, I exercised caution. When I turned on my camera and saw that hers was off, I switched mine off.

She told me to switch it back on and she would get in front of her webcam as well. That was when I caught a glimpse of her face, but she soon got up so all I could see was her body. Then, she did the sexiest wriggle I’d ever seen on a Singaporean girl.

She asked me to strip in front of the camera. Well, since she was being so honest with her body, I decided I had to respond likewise. I was shy but I did as she requested. And that was it. She terminated the chat. I felt a twinge of unease, but I thought she would get in touch with me soon, because she had seemed so interested in me.

Well, she did get in touch with me. To demand $5,000. Otherwise she would upload the video of my naked body on the Internet for everybody to ogle and laugh at.

My first thought was of my parents. I’d been studying hard all these years. I wasn’t exactly an angel but I hadn’t done anything to shame them yet. As the cold reality of what I had committed sunk in, I realised I had no other choice but to do as the girl had demanded.

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I took out $5,000 from my savings and transferred it to the bank account she had given. I never saw her
face-to-face or even knew whether that account was hers. I hoped fervently that was the end of it. I couldn’t go to the police or else my parents would find out. And perhaps what I’d done was also a crime?
I realised that I was very fuzzy about laws regarding sexcapades online or getting involved with an underaged girl.

But my hope was just a fool’s dream. For the next nine months, she continued to extort money from me. During that period, I did things that I had never done before. My bank account, which my parents had deposited money in, was all depleted. I borrowed from friends. I asked my mother for a loan, which she gave to me trustingly, not even questioning what I needed the money for.

In the midst of all this, I scolded myself endlessly. How could I have been such an idiot? Why did I ignore the signs that something fishy was going on and give in just for a fleeting moment of pleasure?

After nine months, I asked myself another question. Why am I such an idiot to keep paying when it’s obvious that she is not letting up? So I went to the police. It took them just two days to crack the case and arrest the girl and her three accomplices. I could have saved myself months of torture and thousands of dollars. But it also meant that I was called to testify in court. My parents learned about it, and my classmates, teachers and friends saw my name in the papers.