By Jacob Kudzai Mutisi
In Zimbabwe, everything is happening online. People are home and bored, so many are willing to do things that they will never do. Zimbabweans have accepted the use of mobile technology and no doubt, the internet, social media, and SMS have become part and parcel of our lives, which can be an extremely useful tool for our day-to-day lives. The use of WhatsApp, instant messaging, chat rooms, emails, and social networking sites has brought trouble like cyberbullying to more serious dangers, that include Online Blackmail, extortion, and sextortion. Online blackmail or extortion is a cyber-crime that is now so common that corporates, parents, friends, and relatives are not aware of in Zimbabwe.
The old methodology of chasing after girls by the boys has now been overtaken by flirting on WhatsApp, Facebook, and other means of modern-day communication. Many of the people you meet even the ones you know during this flirtation may persuade you to send your nude photos, perform sexual acts, or if the relationship becomes sexual, may record yourself and them in a sexual encounter using their smartphones, laptop, or camera.
In some cases, they are blackmailers who often use attractive women to entice their victims to provide them with their nude videos or nude photos. Zimbabwe is battling a serious economic challenge and these women are coerced to participate in these actions using financial incentives.
Once these criminals have your recorded nudes they then threaten to share the images with the victims’ friends and family. Usually, they will send the victim screenshots that they would have pulled up from Facebook pages of aunts, sisters, friends, fellow workmates, and old school friends. The online blackmail scammers then send WhatsApp messages, e-mails threatening to release sexually explicit photos or personally compromising videos to the individual’s contacts if one does not pay up.
This can make the victims feel extremely ashamed and embarrassed and in some cases may lead to tragic consequences. In Zimbabwe, both men and women are victims of this crime. As cyber-crime continues to grow throughout the world, rates are so high it is now considered an ‘industry’. This means that cybercriminals have more opportunities to make money and are becoming better at doing it.
In Zimbabwe, image-based abuse is a crime Censorship and Entertainment Control Act, 1967. The victim is never to blame the fault lies completely with the perpetrator. Report your case because being in possession of pornography or sexual content is a criminal offence in Zimbabwe that is governed by the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act, 1967.
If one is found to have knowingly distributed pornography or sexual content without the consent of the person featured, sharing this type of footage with the intention of causing the person harm or uploaded private photographs of a sexual nature in which the person can be clearly identified or named you can face severe fines or jail time.
The LAW is on your side Do Not be blackmailed, Report to the Police.
For more information please call/WhatsApp +263772278161 or email [email protected]