CAIRO: At least 50 young women were reportedly duped into standing naked in front of webcams, after responding to a fake job announcement online for the position of hostess at Egypt Air. They have apparently done that after being told it was a quick medical checkup.
The Internet Crimes Fighting department at the Ministry of Interior arrested the suspect and seized his computer, noting at least 40 fraud cases, in which he posed as a representative of Egypt Air, head of authority Mohamed Abdul Wahed told Mehwer channel Monday. He said the suspect extorted a number of the women with the videos, taking up to 15,000 EGP ($2,097) from each one.
The suspect attracted viewers by creating an ad for a job at Egypt Air and made it look like an announcement by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, with a salary of 8,000 EGP a month, Abdul Wahed added. The minimum wage for public employees is 1,200 EGP.
“One of the clever methods he used to sound believable was to gradually ask for information and make a stop at each phase to announce the successful completion of the application steps. He then asked them to go to Cairo Airport for a medical checkup, which is indeed how the real process takes place,” Abdul Wahed added.
“Then comes a suggested option of doing the medical test online instead,” Abdul Wahed said.
The suspect has exchanged emails with applicants regarding job requirements and documents stamped with the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s logo.
Mehwer showed screenshots from a Facebook conversation, allegedly between the suspect and the victim. The suspect tells the victim she would be referred to a female doctor for the medical checkup, and then writes back identifying himself as “Dr. Laila Mohsen.”
One of the victims spoke on TV and referred to her virtual job interviewer as a woman, who allegedly asked her to undress in front of the camera in order to run a cancer check. “She started with testing my eyes, teeth and so on, and then she asked me to strip off my clothes which I refused to do and raised my suspicions, so I directly addressed the ministry,” she stated.
The scam was first discussed on the Dream TV channel Sunday.
Internet impersonation and blackmailing are categorized as electronic sexual harassment crimes, which in legal terms falls under “non public act of indecency,” which if committed against the will of the other person, is punishable with a prison sentence up to a year and a fine of 300 EGP.
Additional reporting by Inas el-Sheikh.