Encouraging online relationships from "predators" to obtain compromise images of blackmail, an act of cybercrime, has plunged many women into the Cameroon nation of Central Africa.
"Most victims of cyberbullying are women," a professional hacker named Ismalito told Anadolu.
"Men deceive them by saying that they live in Europe and that they are great personalities. They also pretend to travel around the world looking for a woman to marry. They know that her wives Africa can be greatly influenced by Westerners and luxury. ”
Three victims who were deceived through social media who wished to remain anonymous were questioned by Anadolu.
Maria, 47, had a difficult time understanding the relationship she had with a man she had met online.
For several weeks, she engaged in romantic discussions with a man she met at Facebook. He was a white man, according to his profile. He trusted him. Later, an unknown user sent her nude photos, blackmailing her. She suspected her internet lover.
"She sent me naked photos of myself and asked me to send him money as soon as possible, if I do not want to expose them to the world, I do not know how he took my photos. "It looks like he hacked my Facebook account," he said.
She thinks her blackmailer hacked the phone through their conversations because she doesn't remember ever sending him nude photos.
It was a scenario similar to that experienced by 30-year-old Vanessa and 49-year-old Chantal.
"His profile had a lot of pictures of him, I could not imagine it was fake, he also called me on the phone. Before our supposed meeting, an unknown number sent me pictures which I had just sent to him. "He demanded money and threatened me for weeks," Vanessa said.
Chantal also did not know whom to turn to for help when the blackmailer asked her for $ 340.
With the support of her daughter, Marie avoided the worst. She told her not to respond to her blackmailer's messages and not to send him any money. It stopped bothering her after a few days.
"She may have realized I had no money and went to harass another woman," she said in relief.
Vanessa initially gave the blackmailer twice the $ 85 criminal. When she ran out of money, she finally let her go.
Chantal took drastic action by removing its social media accounts, cutting the internet on its phone and changing its number.
"I do not know if he posted my photos afterwards, but I have no news of him and he is not mine either," he said.
Fortunately the women eventually managed to avoid their blackmailers.
"I was very scared that my relatives would find out what was going on, I was thinking all over time"I lost sleep and I'm very sorry that I accepted a relationship with a stranger on the internet," said Marie.
He now uses only one app to communicate with loved ones and has been disconnected from other social networks.
According to Ismalito, criminals can use two methods with women. The love relationship method is for them the easiest attack. Used by the most relaxed non-professional hackers.
But there is another method that is still very successful, which is to create a phishing page (Phishing). Lets you capture a person's personal information from Facebook and WhatsApp to gain access to personal information information and blackmail them, "he said.
He referred to two software programs - Droidjack and Spynote - used by criminals to control victims' devices.
In light of such dangers, he believes that it is very difficult to get away from cyber criminals. Nevertheless, it mainly supports "disbelief" and some practical techniques.
"Reject friendship requests from strangers on social networks. Do not open strange links or open them in your personal device browsers. Do not keep familiar images on electronic devices. "Powerful hackers have several techniques that are difficult to avoid," he said.
Cybercrime in Cameroon is causing havoc as it happens around the world. The methods are multiple.
Unsuspecting people often fall victims . Experts and other stakeholders in the digital world are often organizing awareness campaigns on the benefits and risks of the web. The country also has a legal arsenal and institutions that ensure the repulsive behavior of cybercriminals.
According to Cameroon's National Information and Communication Technologies Agency, officials are among the victims.
It reports that from 2015 to 2017, 182 government officials were the victims of such accidents, while authorities uncovered more than 200 fake Facebook profiles used to blackmail cyberspace out of 12.800 cyber attacks reported in 2017.