Hyderabad boy arrested for luring schoolgirls into sharing nude pictures on Facebook

Hyderabad(DC): A BTech student from Banjara Hills has been arrested for exploiting girl students after luring them to send him their nude pictures. Abdul Majid, 21, a resident of Bholanagar, extracted money from one victim and tried to exploit others in different ways. Posing as a girl, he used six fake accounts to start conversations with the victims. In one-and-a-half years, he had contacted 200 girls from international schools and other posh institutions in Hyderabad, and secured nude pictures of as many as 80 victims. The cyber crime police arrested Majid after a parent approached them.

The complainant, Janani Rao and her mother, Swati Prabhu with Cyberabad Commissioner of Police, C.V. Anand (top), Abdul Majid (right). (Photo: DC)

Majid, who is in his Third Year B. Tech Computer Science, only targeted girls studying in Class VIII to Intermediate. He threatened and blackmailed most of his victims. However, none of them told this to their parents or approached the police till this week. From the fake accounts, he would chat with the victims, pretending to be a girl and tell them that “she” was new to the city and had no friends here.

According to Cyberabad commissioner of police C.V. Anand, after sending friend requests from his fake account, Majid would lure the victims through chatting. “Most girls accepted the friend request thinking it was a girl. And he would build up the conversation cunningly with the victims, and then start chatting about sexual encounters. He would ask if they had such experiences. If they, too, start chatting explicitly about their experiences, he would take screenshots of the conversation and tell them that he would upload the same on their Facebook wall. He would then ask for nude photos, and if the victim refused, he would threaten to send the chat history to their parents,” said Mr Anand.

“They would only realise that it was a man behind the account once he started threatening them. By then, the victims would have shared their personal experiences and even phone numbers. He also called up several victims over phone and threatened them,” said Cyberabad Cyber Crime inspector Md Riyazuddin.

The investigation officials, who checked the chat history, found that one victim had begged him not to ask for more money. “It stated that she had already paid more than Rs 80,000 to him, and she couldn’t pay him anymore,” said an official. Majid also made several unsuccessful attempts to extort money from other victims. Police suspect that he also wanted to sexually exploit his victims. He has been sent to judicial remand.

Formal chat turns into personal chat

Janani Rao (17) from Banjara Hills got three Facebook friend requests from unknown girls, whose bio indicated that they were Intermediate students in Hyderabad.

After she accepted one of the requests, the “girl” started chatting with her. The formal chats soon turned into personal chats, and then it took a shocking turn.

The “girl” claimed that a man possessed obscene videos of Janani, and he was going to upload it on the Internet. “The girl said she was ready to help me to stop the guy from uploading the video. In return she asked me for my nude photos. I was shocked. I was sure that no such video existed, and I got suspicious about why this girl would ask for my nude photos,” said Janani, who is an Intermediate student.

“The girl then started threatening me saying she was the daughter of an IG, and I would be booked under false cases if I didn’t obey her,” she added.

Janani informed her mother about the whole episode. After a while, she got a call from a person who claimed to be a police inspector from Madhapur. “He wanted to talk to my mother, and wanted my Facebook password. He told my mother that some explicit content had been shared on my FB account. We became suspicious and did not give any details. Later, we approached the police,” said Janani.

After police arrested cyber stalker Majid, Janani and her mother, Ms Swati Prabhu, understood that it was he who was trying to blackmail them. “It was good that my daughter told me before it took a horrible turn. We also made a quick decision to approach the police. I would suggest all teenagers to open up to their parents if they get into trouble online,” said Ms Prabhu.

Keep a tab on children, says cops

Senior Cyberabad police officials say that if parents do not keep a tab on their children’s social media activism, it might have serious repercussions. Officials say that most parents are not even aware of what their sons and daughters are doing on Facebook and other social networking sites.

Commissioner of Police C.V. Anand said that school officials and parents should start teaching kids about cyber security. Teenagers using social networking sites should always be monitored. The upcoming new law on cyber security in TS will include a clause to make it compulsory for schools to teach all aspects of cyber security.

The commissioner said that in the case of the cyber stalker targeting around 100 victims, all the victims’ parents were unaware that their daughters were being exploited on Facebook. However, none of them had told this to their parents. “They should be able to instill confidence in their children, particularly teenage girls, to share problems they have. They should spend some quality time with their children so that they can share the problems they face online without any hesitation. The parents should be careful enough that their children are not getting exploited by perverts,” said Mr Anand.