Chennai: A 26-year-old man has been arrested by the Greater Chennai Police cybercrime wing for extorting money and gold from college students and married women via Facebook and WhatsApp. The police posted on social media that Lokesh, from Thirumullaivoyal, befriended female college students or married women on Facebook and attempted to gain their trust over WhatsApp. Then he would use the chats to blackmail them. A student complained to the police after he claimed to be in love with her and demanded Rs 17,000 and 13.5 sovereigns of gold. He had threatened to share their WhatsApp conversations with her parents.
According to a GCP post on Facebook, a team from the cyber wing arrested Lokesh at his home. Furthermore, they reportedly seized 72.2 sovereigns of gold, two cellphones, and a Yamaha bike. Lokesh used multiple fake accounts to extort women in Chennai, Coimbatore, Dindigul, and Kanyakumari districts, as well as in Malaysia and Puducherry.
An article in the Times of India reports that Lokesh is a college dropout and a YouTuber. Since January, he has been extorting money from women, says the report. TOI reports that Lokesh developed relationships with the women he befriended through false Facebook accounts, extracted information about their private lives over WhatsApp chats, took screenshots of these and then threatened to share the screenshots with their parents. The report adds that Lokesh was also placed in judicial custody on Saturday, with the police trying to find out whether or not he was working with a gang.