Be careful of what you post online on your social media, peeps! It looks like those selfies we love to take may be misused for other purposes and it isn’t good.
According to The Star, they discovered that there were unscrupulous Twitter accounts who would steal other people’s photos and use it to sell sex services on social media. These services range from sex videos to prostitution. And you definitely do not want your face to be associated with those services, right?
Apparently, they found various tweets on these accounts saying things such as, “Book now. Shah Alam girl. Free hotel. Unlimited shot. RM300” complete with photos showcasing different girls, portraying them as the women who are available for “service”.
These photos featured girls taking photos of themselves in various locations such as in the car, bathroom mirrors or even at their workplace. It was discovered that several of these women were active on social media and their photos on Facebook and Instagram had been stolen and misused.
The Star said that when they tried contacting one of these porn accounts, the admin of the account said, “Yes, they are all my girls. Send me the money and I will arrange everything.” They gave instructions to transfer the payment of RM300 and arranged a time and hotel room where the prostitute would be waiting.
There was no option for paying on the spot and this has actually led to several users being scammed by the accounts. After these users paid the full amount, the admin would then disappear and not be contactable. Of course, they did not get the promised night they paid for!
Sinar Project digital rights activist Tan Sze Ming said that these cybercrimes are not new and has been prevalent for quite some time.
“Fraud and prostitution are the main crime here. As for the stolen photos, the victims can only pursue it as a defamation case, though not all victims will be able to afford the legal fees. Most people are not aware that the things they post online can be freely used by third parties for any purpose,” she said.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said that the misuse of private photos and information online to solicit sex services is an offence under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act and from 2015 to 2017, as many as 78 cases have been investigated for committing this offence.
However, our cybercrime laws are still considered to be “ancient” and does not protect social media users’ privacy much. Even with privacy settings, it only minimises the vulnerability of users. While the Penal Code covers elements of prostitution and extortion, MCMC advises users to be alert.
CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said, “We will assist to notify the respective service provider to take down the profile or the advertisement of the offending content. We advise victims to also lodge a police report, together with evidence to support their report. A copy of the police report can be provided to us for further analysis and escalation to Twitter for further action.”
If you happen to find your photos being stolen and misused, log on here to file a report. Stay safe online!
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