Men, beware of gigolo sites

April 14th, 2008 - 10:25 am ICT by admin  

By Sahil Makkar
New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) In an alarming trend, young Indian men are being lured on the internet as gigolos and then being robbed of money. Police confirm that such rackets are thriving as in most cases the victims are too embarrassed to file a complaint. Take the case of 23-year-old call centre professional Rahul Khanna (name changed), who was conned by some men he met through a well-known social networking site.

Khanna, whom IANS came in contact with through common friends, revealed how he thought of making a quick buck by soliciting but ended up being duped. He did not report the matter to police even though there is no law in India against male prostitutes.

“While surfing the internet, I encountered a community that said “be a gigolo and earn in thousands”. With surging debts in mind, I became interested. I thought I had never had sex, so why waste a chance when it was coming with money,” said Khanna, who had come from Meerut to Delhi four years ago for studies.

“I contacted the number provided by the group and after initial hiccups they consented to give me an audience. They asked me to bring a photograph and Rs.2,000 as registration fee. I didn’t find anything suspicious in that.

“Then two men fixed up a meeting in a south Delhi park. There, I was told a few things, like how to satisfy a client and how to handle them. They also told me not to fret, as male prostitution is not illegal in India.

“Soon one of them brought out a registration form and asked me to write my details and paste a photo over it. They showed me many such forms saying like me they were roping in other members too.

“I felt assured that I had met genuine people and that my fortunes were about to change. I handed them Rs.2,000 in cash, which they had asked me to bring.”

“The duo left promising that I would be contacted shortly for my services for their elite clients,” he recounted. He was told that he could be paid anything between Rs.3,000 and Rs.5,000 by each client.

But Khanna was never contacted.

After a few days, he checked the same group on the internet. “I found that the group didn’t exist any more and realised I had been cheated. I was just dumbstruck.

“I had not even revealed this to my friends until now.”

Many such gigolo groups are out there in the virtual world today, swindling male youngsters who might want to make a quick buck by satisfying the needs of a certain class of women.

A senior police official in the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) said there had been a sharp rise in cases of cyber cheating in the past few years.

“We do hear of similar incidents where youngsters are cheated on the internet in the name of easy sex and money. But no one approaches us with a complaint, fearing embarrassment. People should not remain quiet,” the official said.

“Victims can guide their friends and acquaintances before more people fall prey to such conmen on the internet. People must restrain themselves from such networking sites or use them safely,” he added.

(Sahil Makkar can be contacted at sahil.m@ians.in)

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