I have two very shocking yet true incidents to recount and hope this is an eye-opener to many who fall prey to virtual world criminals. I have changed the name of the site and the details of the user to hide their identities.
Case # 1:
Priya was very excited when her father brought her the latest laptop. It was the latest and she started boasting amongst her friends of her new gadget. As per her father, a Multinational bank official, this will help her to research more about her studies and keep in touch with their relatives living abroad. Little did he know that Priya had other plans as well? Her friends were on top social networking sites and have met some so called “HUNKS” and had fun spending most of their time on phone, sms, and chats. Priya used to socialize from Cybercafés but the time was limited. With Laptop, she knew she can spend more time with the people she met on the social networking sites (let’s call the site as “tukro”).
Priya chatted through the nights while the parents thought their daughter was working hard on her studies. Priya met many guys on tukro, but she liked one called Rajeeb as he was very nice and had great picture of his on the site. They exchanged numbers and soon online and offline chats continued for hours. Chat started getting personal and one day when Rajeeb asked what her bra size was, Priya blushed and giggled! From there the chats took a more sexual flavor.
One day, Rajeeb proposed to meet her and he said he will come down all the way from his city to her city, can she spend the whole day and night with her! Priya felt flattered, pampered but with night stay she said her parents will not agree but Rajeeb was adamant. Priya made excuses and told her parents that she has to stay at her friend’s place as they have to do night study. After slight hesitation, parents agreed, but asked her to keep her mobile on.
On the D-Day, Priya was all excited and ready to meet Rajeeb. She even bunked her college and went to the station to receive him. When she first saw Rajeeb, she was slightly surprised as he looked much older than his photo, but she was too excited to worry about that. They hugged and then Rajeeb said lets go to our friend’s place. Priya thought they would first see the city, have nice lunch, but again submitting entirely to Rajeeb’s wishes, she went to his friend’s place, succumbing to Rajeeb’s constant pestering, they had sex that night.
Next day, Priya was all excited to go out, but Rajeeb claimed that he has to go back to city and promised her to come back and meet her in a week’s time. Priya was very happy; she felt loved, pampered and found Rajeeb very passionate and caring.
That evening she discovered that she could not find Rajeeb’s profile on Tukro. She tried calling Rajeeb and there was no response. She waited for an entire week but there was no trace of Rajeeb, no profile, no email, no phone – nothing worked.
After a week she received an email asking her to view the video attached. To her shock it was her video with Rajeeb. Each and every act was filmed! A phone call followed which said that if she wants this video not to go public she should go out with some of their friends. She was devastated, broke. Her parents would commit suicide if they found this video. She couldn’t live up to the shame and in the act of desperation committed suicide.
Case # 2:
Rehana was a small town girl from a very conservative Muslim family; she never had a friend circle and was very shy. She came to Bangalore and her life started changing. Her room mates talked about various encounters they had with male counterparts through some of these social networking sites. They coerced Rehana into giving it a try herself. She tried her hands on registering herself to one of the Social networking sites, by giving all her details online including address, phone number and even permanent address (very naïve).
She started getting offers and felt wanted. She was very particular about meeting person from her own caste and soon met a guy by the name of Maajid. Maajid told her that he was a devout Muslim and that he was living and working in Dubai with some MNC. Rehana was totally impressed and soon love bloomed. Maajid proposed to her and she immediately accepted.During one of the visits to her hometown, Rehana disclosed everything to her parents, who were shocked. However, hearing the details, they wanted to meet the guy. Maajid said he can come to India only if they are ready to marry. Seeing Rehana’s die-hard love for Maajid and viewing Maajid’s profile online, parents did agree.
The first meeting was in her village and Maajid came with his uncle. He was 12 years older than Rehana, who was just 19 then. They fixed the nikaah next week. During the whole week Maajid was very helpful, caring and parents were spell bound by his religious sentiments as well. Nikaah went well, Maajid asked for some cash, which was paid immediately. After spending another week, Maajid left for Dubai assuring that he will arrange Visa for her. As you all might have thought, that was the end of contact!
Rehana tried to reach out to Maajid over phone calls. On one occasion Maajid picked the phone and said he is already married and has no interest in Rehana. She called multiple times, pleading, even asking her to keep as servant in her house. After few days she started receiving lewd calls on her phone asking for sexual favor. Morphed photos were sent to her PG and home. Rehena then remembered of giving her personal info to Maajid and probably he was behind all this. She went to the Police only to find that there were no proofs against Maajid and original copy of Nikahama was not with them. Even the Kaaji whom Maajid got for marriage was no where to trace. Her Parents couldn’t stand the whole issue and left the village for some other place.
Both cases reveal beyond doubt that the element of FAKE exists on Cyber world and people should be very cautious dealing with them. Best is to play safe and act cautiously, the quick-fix solution that networking sites offer to some of our social problems are not necessarily the best and might have grave repercussion if we don’t deal with them pragmatically.