The Ministry of Interior’s anti-cybercrime and information departments have urged the public to exercise caution when using the internet to avoid falling victim to online extortion scams.
Anti-Cybercrime Department director Chea Pov told The Post on Monday that scammers are known to use nude photos and videos to extort money from innocent internet users.
Pov pointed out that some users are not tech-savvy, making it easy for hackers to steal their data through social media sites including Facebook.
“Some Cambodians are new to Facebook, so they have limited knowledge of how to protect their account from hacking and to keep their data secure. That enables hackers to access it.
“Wherever they go, they like to take photos of themselves and post them on social media. Hackers can take advantage of their carelessness by photoshopping their photos and then using them to extort money. They might threaten to post them online [if their demand is rejected].
“Citizens should be more careful when posting photos on Facebook and other social media sites. They have to think twice when posting photos and video taken through their mobile phones because it’s not secure,” he said.
Pov also called on internet users to be careful with their online purchases.
“When buying any online products, one must identify the vendors before transferring money to them. They also need to know clearly which bank they are transferring the money through because hackers can fake this,” he said.
Pov said the authorities had sent many similar cases to court, but declined to provide details, saying he did not have the exact data at hand.
The ministry’s information department on Friday also issued a notice informing the public of increasing online scams in the Kingdom.
The department said it had seen cases of hackers using pornography and seductive photos on social media as click bait before transmitting a virus onto computers or smartphones.
The department added that some offenders also hired attractive persons to lure internet users into undressing or performing sexual acts before extorting money from them by threatening to post the activities online.
“If there is an online threat, users must first deactivate their Facebook account temporarily. They should install software to scan and get rid of the virus from their computers or smartphones. They must cover their webcam as a precaution,” the notice said.