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Monday , December 16 2019

Think before accessing online dating sites

Kuwaiti victim of blackmail, extortion

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 10: Many online methods of blackmail and extortion have developed, and many young people have fallen victim into the hands of professional extortionists after they ignored the basic security procedures or rather let their guards down while operating in the virtual world. Such incidents are usually discovered after financial losses are incurred and problems arise when the perpetrators successfully dupe their victims, reports Al-Qabas daily.

According to an investigative article published recently by the French magazine L’Express, young men, including Kuwaitis, were subjected to extortion by girls whom they met through online dating sites. Recounting one of the incidents, the magazine narrated the story of Jamal, a pseudonym for a 38-year-old Kuwaiti family man who visited Paris for the first time last summer as part of a business assignment.

Prior to traveling to Paris, he met a 30-year-old woman called Mary Blonde on a dating site. Describing the girl as slender and blonde, Jamal said he met her at a luxury restaurant in the capital city Paris, and sent her 10,000 euros four months later at her request, but this was just the beginning of dirty bargain to which he became a victim.

The magazine also narrated stories of young Frenchmen who were victims of similar situation of blackmail and dirty deals It revealed that many victims of this type of extortion prefer to maintain silence and respond to extortion through payment, due to which it is difficult to determine their numbers.

Avi Peyton, an attorney in the Paris Judicial Council, told the magazine that he had handled fivesix cases on the same subject after the law punishing clients of the night came into force in France in 2016. Jamal had hesitated a lot to tell his story, but he finally accepted.

In a phone call from Kuwait, he said he hopes to spare other young people from the ordeal he went through after he met Mary in Paris who continued to stay in touch with him by phone. He proposed another meeting with her in Madrid, where he had to go for business purposes. She had accepted, but she asked him to help her pay the rent and taxes dues. Mary wanted 5,000 euros per month, but Jamal only transferred 3,000 euros under the condition that she stopped going to nightclubs. Jamal said the girl’s situation was painful, as she was friendly and polite.

In the Spanish capital, Mary seemed greedier, requiring the young man to settle all her debts of 12,000 euros. She reminded him that French law forbids any paid relations outside wedlock, and she also threatened to contact his wife, children and boss.

Mary continued to blackmail and harass him even after he returned to Kuwait, causing Jamal to panic as the young lady knew everything about him and possessed a copy of the financial transactions from him to her as well as copy of the messages they exchanged and even a video recording of his luggage in his hotel room in Paris.

Jamal consulted a lawyer and was in the process of filing a lawsuit, but that was no longer necessary because a letter from his lawyer was enough to end the matter. “It is necessary to finish it,” he wrote. “You can hurt me, but you also have things to lose.” Mary is a former employee of a large corporation with an account under her true identity on Linked- In.

There were pictures of her in her account on the dating site. The story of Jamal ended well, but his story about his experience will prompt many young people to think a thousand times before accessing online dating sites.

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