What is a 'Honey Trap'?

What is a 'Honey Trap'?
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It’s been revealed that Conservative MP and vice chairman of the 1922 committee, William Wragg, leaked phone numbers belonging to his colleagues to a man he had met on the gay dating app Grindr.

Wragg admitted that he sent the numbers after he became concerned about the power the recipient had over him since he had sent intimate pictures of himself.

Politico revealed that staff in the House of Commons, including MPs and their staff, were then sent unsolicited flirtatious texts in a suspected spear phishing attack.

According to reports, two MPs responded by sending an explicit image of themselves. The scandal is now being investigated by Leicestershire Police.

Speaking on Newsnight, Tory MP Bob Seely said that he suspected the sting to be from a foreign state, stating that it was “crude enough to be the Russians,” but that “the Chinese tend to be more sophisticated.” He added: “I’m hoping [Wragg] hasn’t handed over my number. It sounds like a gay honey trap.”

William Wragg has been Member of Parliament for Hazel Grove since May 2015PA

What is a ‘honey trap’?

Essentially, honey traps are efforts to entice people to disclose sensitive information through seduction or sexual appeal. Common honey trap scams online consist of communication from seemingly attractive strangers on dating sites.

In politics, there have been many cases of famous honey trap scandals over the years.

According to, the definition of “honey trap” in a political sense is: “A scenario in espionage whereby an agent enters into a romantic or sexual relationship with a civilian and seeks to leverage that intimacy to coerce or blackmail the target or to discover secret information.”

Honey traps can also relate to more personal cases of schemes designed to test validity of relationships, or “an investigative technique that tests the fidelity of a spouse or significant other by attempting to lure them into a romantic or sexual liaison”.

Wragg, 36, who is gay, told The Times: “They had compromising things on me. They wouldn’t leave me alone. They would ask for people. I gave them some numbers, not all of them. I told him to stop. He’s manipulated me and now I’ve hurt other people”.

“I got chatting to a guy on an app and we exchanged pictures. We were meant to meet up for drinks, but then didn’t. Then he started asking for numbers of people.

“I was worried because he had stuff on me. He gave me a WhatsApp number, which doesn’t work now.”

He added: “I’ve hurt people by being weak. I was scared. I’m mortified. I’m so sorry that my weakness has caused other people hurt.”

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