Cy­ber cheats use on­line re­cruit­ment sites to trap youth

Oman Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - MAI AL ABRIA MUS­CAT, MAY 1

Cy­ber crim­i­nals are in­creas­ingly prey­ing upon vul­ner­a­ble Omani women when they go on­line in search of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

An Ob­server in­ves­ti­ga­tion has un­earthed in­stances of a hand­ful of women fall­ing vic­tim to on­line preda­tors, with at least one of them the tar­get of fi­nan­cial and sex­ual black­mail by a fraud­ster who had stolen the iden­tity of a po­lice­man to tar­get his prey.

Ac­cord­ing to Mubarak al Hadadi, Gen­eral Man­ager and Chief Se­cu­rity Of­fi­cer at Qnec­tive, the vic­tims are typ­i­cally young women who are ac­tive on so­cial me­dia but gen­er­ally gullible when tar­geted by cy­ber fraud­sters.

Many be­come vul­ner­a­ble when their on­line ac­counts are hacked and their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion falls into the vic­tims, ex­perts point out.

In one shock­ing in­ci­dent that re­cently came to light, an Omani col­lege stu­dent who fre­quented var­i­ous so­cial me­dia sites be­come the tar­get of a pro­longed and vi­cious cy­ber ex­tor­tion scam.

‘RS’ (not her real ini­tials) was con­tacted on­line by an in­di­vid­ual who suc­cess­fully hacked her per­sonal ac­counts and dis­cov­ered that she had vis­ited some porn sites.

Mas­querad­ing as a po­lice of­fi­cer, hav­ing ear­lier stolen the iden­tify of an of­fi­cial, the fraud­ster threat­ened to dis­close her pri­vate de­tails to her fam­ily in she did not cough up RO 5,000 in ex­tor­tion money.

Anx­ious to safe­guard her other­wise good name, RS bor­rowed the amount from a rel­a­tive and dropped off the bribe at a pre-agreed lo­ca­tion.

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