As such we should not be answering calls from unknown numbers even on phone. They could be vishing calls- Phishing over voice calls, asking for your OTP, creating panic, some urgency.


However, recently there have been many complaints of video calls over social media platforms like Instagram. You may have followed someone cos you saw some common friends, it’s not unusual to do so or may have even DMd them lightheartedly. Our face to face interactions are still not as they used to be prior to pandemic. As human beings we crave social interactions.


But, here’s the catch. Complaints that have come to our helpline say that unknown accounts call out of the blue without any prior intimation and as soon as you answer the video call, they might appear naked. They could also be screen recording this call or take a screen shot. All this is so abrupt and shocking that by the time you recover, the damage is already done.


The profile picture of the account who called could also be the same gender so you are not very alarmed but when you answer it but might end up being someone totally different.


Then, the blackmail starts. They begin to message you that if you don’t pay money, they will send that video to all your followers, make it public, share with your employer or family. This really makes you feel so ashamed, the fear of what will people say is looming large and you begin panicking. In today’s world unfortunately, social media also turns judge quickly. The victim is first shamed and ridiculed. Thereafter it’s their onus to prove their innocence.


It might sound like a joke to others but for the victim it’s traumatic.


So first and foremost, please don’t answer any calls of any person you know ONLY from social media platform. It’s tough to trust online profiles. REPORT TO PLATFORMS AND POLICE. IN ALL LIKELIHOOD YOU MAY NOT BE THE ONLY VICTIM. BREAK THE CYCLE, IT WILL SCARE THE PERPETRATOR OR THEY WILL KEEP GETTING AWAY.


Additionally, do not share any intimate content or sext that can later be used to blackmail you. Also watch what kind of content you are posting. Is there any content that can hamper your chances of a job/visa, used to intimidate you or could lead to embarrass you? Avoid love talk with absolute strangers unless you gain confidence that they are who they say they are.


Stay Aware, Stay Safe.


Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!








Twitter: @AkanchaS


Instagram: @akanchas









‘Akancha Against Harassment’ is India’s largest social impact initiative against cyber harassment. It was founded by Miss Akancha Srivastava in February 2017. Its a not-for-profit Section 8 organization.


Honorary Board of advisors


Foundation’s advisory board hosts – Former Special DGP RK Vij (Chattisgarh), ADG Navniet Sekera (Uttar Pradesh), Special IG Krishna Prakash (Maharashtra), Dr Poonam Verma (Principal- SSCBS, Delhi University)


Goals of this initiative

The initiative aims at Education, Empowerment & Bridging of general population with the authorities.

Support of the Indian Police for the initiative

Bridging is the most unique attribute of the initiative. We have a host of over 65+ senior police officers from across the country supporting us in content & awareness drive.

This unique strength helps us address any victim complaints that come to us as well as inform people about various measures of law enforcement across the country.


Multilingual AI Chat helpline for cyber safety

We run India’s only private national multilingual AI chat helpline for cyber safety. This helpline is currently available in Hindi & English on our website. It can be accessed from any internet enabled device. You can chat here anonymously, fearlessly.

Stay Aware, Stay Safe.