Wednesday, March 20

Youngest sextortion victim is 14


KOTA KINABALU: The youngest victim of online sextortion in Malaysia is only 14 years old, said Head of the Consumer Protection and Complaints Bureau Department, Ratnawaty Talib.

She told participants of a seminar on empowering consumer rights yesterday that about 99 percent of sextortion victims were males between 25 and 45 years old.

She said a total of 300 complaints were received last year.

To avoid falling into such traps, Ratnawaty advised social media users to be vigilant and to abstain from accepting ‘friends requests’ from strangers through social media such as Facebook.

She said the amount extorted ranged from RM2,000 to RM5,000.

Ratnawaty said those extorting for money would threaten to upload the video(s) of the victim to YouTube if the money was not paid.

“Don’t panic. Lodge a complaint with MCMC which will report the matter to YouTube to take down the video.

If money has been paid, a police report needs to be lodged so that investigation can be started,” she said, adding that payment should not be made.

Meanwhile, computer users, particularly business entities, must take proactive steps for protection against virus attacks.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Network Security and Enforcement sector chief officer  Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said they must update their virus software constantly for protection against any malware attacks.

“When it comes to virus, protection is always better,” he told reporters at the seminar to empower consumer rights held at the Sutera Harbour Resort near here, yesterday.

“Proactive approach is necessary. Don’t just use and make no effort to protect our devices from virus attacks,” he said.

At the same time, he also urged users of the social media to abstain from sharing information that have not been clarified.

He urged users to visit the MCMC website to check the authenticity of any information.

He added that cyber threats were not a joking matter and that agencies such as MCMC were monitoring such threats and that if they occurred, it would issue statements.