Israel police catch catfishing gang that robs men after luring them with sex

Police were able to trace the identity of the young woman involved as well as the identities of three other suspects as the investigation progressed.

Male hands arrested with handcuffs in Criminal concept (illustrative) (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Male hands arrested with handcuffs in Criminal concept (illustrative)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Israel Police uncovered a "catfishing" gang in Ashkelon which lured men via social media into sexual encounters with a young woman, during which the suspects threatened and robbed them, and would purchase items in their name.

On Wednesday, police arrested all four suspects – three men and the young woman – who were involved.

The Ashkelon police have been investigating the incident after receiving a number of complaints from men after they noticed a similar pattern when some men received sexual messages from a young woman on social media and were invited to her home in Ashkelon.

Upon their arrival, the men were attacked by a number of suspects who threatened them and stole their mobile devices, identity information and credit cards. Items worth tens of thousands of shekels were bought in the victims' names, which include mobile devices and even a car.

Police were able to trace the identity of the young woman as well as the identities of three other suspects as the investigation progressed.

What did the investigation reveal?

The investigation revealed that the suspects rented an apartment in the city for the young woman, from where she used a fictitious profile created for her in order to "hunt and entice" men to come and have a sexual encounter with her, as the police spokesperson described.

 PEOPLE IN Ashkelon stroll on the promenade on Monday, soon after a ceasefire was declared between Israel and Islamic Jihad (credit: FLASH90) PEOPLE IN Ashkelon stroll on the promenade on Monday, soon after a ceasefire was declared between Israel and Islamic Jihad (credit: FLASH90)

Police arrested the suspects while they allegedly tried to escape in a taxi in the central area of the city.

They were brought for questioning on suspicion of robbery, extortion by threats and illegal use of debit cards, and will be brought before an Ashkelon court on Thursday with a request to extend their detention.