Criminals opt for ‘friendlier’ methods to lure victims

Criminals opt for ‘friendlier’ methods to lure victims

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Criminals are increasingly luring victims using social media, after which they are raped or assaulted.

Sunnyside police are looking for a man after a 26-year-old woman was raped on Sunday.

It is alleged the man had reportedly advertised an external hard drive on the internet, which turned out to be a scam to lure victims, reports Pretoria East Rekord.

“According to police records, the victim planned to buy the hard drive and agreed to meet the man at a fast food outlet in Sunnyside,” said police spokesperson Daniel Mavimbela.

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He said reports from the woman suggested that following the meeting, the suspect accompanied her to a local flat, where she woke up naked on a bed.

According to the woman, she had passed out shortly after their arrival at the flat, Mavimbela said.

“It is believed that a vast majority of people who are victims of crime and pass out are either spiked or suffocated with carbon tetrachloride or chloroform.”

Mavimbela said the woman thought that while she was unconscious, the suspect sexually violated and possibly raped her before abandoning her in the flat.

Police said a search was underway for the scam artist and rapist.

He said a few weeks ago, a 19-year-old Sunnyside woman was allegedly raped by a man who had promised to link her with “blessers”.

Mavimbela said the woman was raped after she had befriended the man through social media.

He said that the local police suspected that the recent heightening of operations creating more visibility was preventing criminals to operate freely and openly in the streets.

Consequently, these criminals are now resorting to “friendlier” methods by “isolating potential victims from the public eye through the usage of the internet”.

Mavimbela urged internet users to exercise extreme caution before agreeing to meet with strangers.

“Social media users are urged to consult widely or insist on meeting with strangers at a police station should there be a desire to conclude a transaction that had been initiated through the internet or social media.”

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