Philippines arrests suspected extortionists, says they lured people to expose selves online

Features Associated Press

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online extortion ring accused of blackmailing over 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcams.

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The head of the police anti-cybercrime group, Gilbert Sosa, says raids on the syndicate's operations in two towns in northern Bulacan province led to the arrests. He said Friday that five teenagers employed as "chatters" who befriended victims through social media sites including Facebook were turned over to social workers.

According to police, victims would be lured into cybersex on Skype, recorded and a video link sent to their Facebook accounts unless they paid at least $3,000.

In May, Interpol helped bust a similar blackmail ring that led to the arrests of over 100 Filipino suspects.

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