Video call

Here’s how it works and how to stay safe

Last update: September 10, 2022, 7:52 p.m. HST

(Video call scam. Credit: Twitter/@CyberDost)

Do not pick up video calls from random numbers, it can cost you dearly.

Online scams have become common these days. There are hundreds of ways for scammers to scam you online these days. One such way is to use video calls to scam people. Yes, you heard right, a scam that takes place via video calls and involves blackmail is also quite common.

According to reports earlier this year, people received video calls from random numbers where scammers tricked them and blackmailed users with screenshots and tweaked images. Several such cases were reported earlier this year, with people being forced to pay up to Rs 55,000 to fraudsters.

How this scam works is that the scammers send a video call from women. A scam mainly targeting men, when the person answers the call, they find a half-naked girl on video call. If the victim reciprocates the same, that’s when the scammers record a video or take screenshots and threaten to post it on social media. They ask the victim to pay huge amount of money so as not to post any photos or videos.

Such frauds are common on dating apps and other video calling platforms, including WhatsApp. This saw an increase during the first wave of COVID-19. In a case earlier this year, a random video call cost a 30-something man Rs 55,000.

To protect yourself from this type of hack, the first thing you should do is never receive video calls from random numbers. Users can also change their privacy settings and keep things as tight as possible. Your phone number or other account identifiers, or even your contact list, should be visible to strangers on any of the online platforms.

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