The Royal Oman Police urged people to be cautious when dealing with strangers after a rising number of honey trap cases where con artists use women to extort money from victims.
“This (honey trap) is a new style of crime adopted by criminals who target people and blackmail them for money and mostly, women are found to be committing this crime,” a senior ROP official said.
The trap begins with a woman sending enticing messages and videos luring the victim into a relationship on social media that usually leads to exchange of personal messages and videos.
Now another person claiming to be the father, brother or relative of the woman, messages the victim claiming that the woman is being tortured or killed by her relatives who had discovered her secret relationship with this person.
In the final act, another member of the gang poses as an embassy staff approaches the victim with fake documents including a copy of the complaint from investigating authorities. The victim now desperately wants to get out of the case. A huge sum of money is demanded at this stage for dropping off the case, which the victim might agree to pay. The best way to get out of such a situation is to alert the ROP which will deal with all complaints confidentially and professionally to preserve the victim’s privacy, the official said
ROP asked the victims to dial toll-free number 80077444 or mail to email@example.com for any assistance. The ROP said the gangs milked victims’ fear of loss of face, which prevented them taking legal recourse.
“Never accept friendship requests from strangers. If you receive a chat request from a friend’s friend, verify the identity before starting communication. One should not share personal photos or information online,” said the official.