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June 24, 2017

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Criminal Investigation Bureau warns of cybersex scams

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) suggested that civilians avoid talking or video chatting with random strangers online, and to never real one's personal information, bank account details and engage in intimate actions.

The CIB also urged people to call the anti-fraud hotline at 165 if they suspect any illicit online activity is taking place.

The CIB said in April that a 35-year-old married man surnamed Zhao began talking to an anonymous woman he met on Facebook. Their conversation turned from casual to flirtatious, and after being seduced by the woman, the two agreed to video chat with each other.

Zhao then engaged in cybersex with the woman, according to the CIB. Toward the end of the video session, the woman said she had been recording their encounter the entire time, and unless Zhao paid NT$150,000, she would release the video onto the Internet or even sell it to pornographic companies.

The CIB said that Zhao transferred NT$45,000 after bargaining because he feared his marriage was at stake. He realized he had been blackmailed after the girl requested more money, the bureau said.

In a related case in July, the CIB said a 28-year-old man surnamed Sun, living in Taoyuan, agreed to Skype with "Hannah," a girl he met in an Internet chat room. Hannah said she could perform a striptease for him if he transferred money first.

Out of curiosity, the CIB said, Sun transferred NT$860 to the specified bank account, only to be disconnected from the user Hannah.

Officials from the CIB said that people need to be extra aware of fraud and potential blackmail on the Internet, especially when online activity includes intimate activity.

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