Last updated on March 21, 2023
Names and places mentioned herein are hypothetical.
Sureka was a housewife with one daughter. Her husband was working for armed forces. They had to face a lot of financial difficulties since they were building their house.
One day, when Sureka was scrolling through her Facebook feed, she saw an advertisement about an organization that helps women who are facing financial issues. Further it was mentioned that they give money or loans without interest for women who are in need and specifically that they help only women.
After seeing this, Sureka was delighted. She immediately contacted the person named Malkanthi Fernando who had posted the advertisement.
Sureka: Hi, this is regarding the advertisement on FB about helping women
Malkanthi: Hi, yes we do help women who are facing financial difficulties. But we have some tasks. You need to complete them to get money
Sureka: Can I know about these tasks?
Malkanthi: Yes, you have to send us some pictures
Sureka: what pictures?
Malkanthi: First send me a picture of you, kneeling down
Sureka told Malkanthi that she couldn’t send the pictures as her daughter was awake. Then Malkanthi told her to send these pictures at night.
When her daughter was fast asleep, Sureka took that picture and sent it to Malkanthi.
Malkanthi: That’s a good one, now there’s another task. You have to put a cloth inside your mouth and take a picture.
Since Sureka was in need of money, she did that as well. After that Malkanthi told her about the other tasks.
Malkanthi: Now, you have to wear a bedsheet and send us a picture.
Sureka got confused and told Malkathi that she couldn’t do these as her daughter might awake. But Malkanthi persuaded her saying that since the tasks were not completed, she would not be getting any money.
Sureka made up her mind to send the required picture. Malkanthi did not stop there.
Malkanthi: Can you send a picture of you kneeling down with a cloth inside your mouth and you have to moan.
At this point Sureka was very confused and asked if the other women who contacted her completed all these tasks.
Malkanthi didn’t reply to that, instead she said
Malkanthi: Send it tomorrow morning if you are tired and don’t worry about the pictures. Just delete all of them
Sureka did not get any money from them and she was so worried about her pictures taken in weird poses that she called Hithawathi. Hithawathi instructed her to report and block the account. Further Hithawathi instructed her not to keep any communication with the said person via any means. Lastly she was asked to inform Hithawathi if she noticed that her pictures were being misused in anyway and also advised to be away from online smuggles like these.
- Once a photo / video is sent to someone through the internet it is sent forever, even if you delete it from your end / device. So always think before you send pictures / videos to someone (especially an unknown person) online
- No one would give free money unless there is something (mostly a scam / black money) behind it, so always think twice
- Visit https://www.hithawathi.lk/how-to-get-help/useful-contact-information/for useful contact points related to cyber issues.
- Cybercriminal complaints that are clearly mentioned with relevant evidence (correct links, screenshots, etc.) can be handed over to the CID, or sent to “The Director, Criminal Investigation Department, Colombo 01” by registered post. Additionally, you have the option of emailing the same via firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact 1926 (Special Mental Health Hotline)or Sumithrayo when you feel down due to these types of incidents.