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Man forced to pay R230k for 'leaked nudes' but never took his clothes off

11 June 2021 - 10:37 By kyle zeeman
Face-exchange technology was allegedly used to scam the man out of R230,000. Stock photo.
Face-exchange technology was allegedly used to scam the man out of R230,000. Stock photo.

A Chinese man was forced to fork out 110,000 yuan (R233,000) to scammers after they used face-swapping technology to allegedly superimpose his face on a porn video.

Chinese police are investigating a case of extortion after the man in east China's Jiangsu province allegedly fell victim to an elaborate scam where people's faces are used in graphic videos, despite never having taken their clothes off.

According to Chinese state media outlet Global Times, the man suspected he was being conned when a “female net friend” invited him to download an app for a “deeper chat”.

He claimed he downloaded the app out of curiosity but decided to stay clothed and only show his face on video.

It was enough for the scammers to use, and he reportedly later received a porn video with his face superimposed and multiple threats that it would be shared publicly unless he paid for it to disappear.

He is the latest victim of a “naked chat trap” trend hitting China and surrounding countries.

The Macau Post reported earlier this year that 52 cases of such blackmail were reported in the first 10 months of 2020. It claimed 17 of these involved pupils and students aged 14 to 22.

Deputy convener of the Taipa and Coloane Community Service Consultative Council, Liu Fengming, said the police dealt with six types of internet scams last year:

  • internet relationship scams;
  • online game reward card scams;
  • job hunt scams;
  • online game scams;
  • “naked chat” blackmail cases; and
  • online shopping scams.

The trend has also spread to India, where authorities have warned against similar scams using WhatsApp.

According to Gadgets Now, there has been a rise in cases of scammers photo-shopping publicly available images of people on graphic images to try to extort money from victims.

It reported that the demands are as low as Rs 3000 (R550) to convince victims to pay up rather than report the matter to the police.