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BEWARE! WHATSAPP FRAUDSTERS ON PROWL, CAUTIONS PUNJAB POLICE


Fake WhatsApp IDs created to impersonate as important Officers/Dignitaries; Punjab Cyber Crime registers two FIRs in less than a month

Chandigarh,(Gurpreet) The State Cyber Crime Cell of Punjab Police on Wednesday issued an advisory for the people of Punjab suggesting to be vigilant about messages demanding financial/administrative favours using fake WhatsApp IDs impersonating as an important Officers/Dignitaries. The Cyber Crime Cell also asked them to immediately report on toll free number ‘1930’ if such case come into their notice.

Divulging details, Inspector General of Police (IGP) State Cyber Crime RK Jaiswal said that two such cases, wherein fraudsters impersonating VVIPs tried to defraud innocent people, have come to the fore in less than a month.

Acting promptly, Punjab State Cyber Crime has registered two FIRs including on April 26, 2022 under sections 420 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), sections 66C and 66D of the IT Act and another on May 19, 2022 under section 66C of the IT Act at PS State Cyber Crime, SAS Nagar, he said, adding that all efforts are being made by the State Cyber Crime to nab the culprits.

IGP RK Jaiswal advised people to restrain from reacting on the basis of the display picture/name on WhatsApp/Social Media profiles, using suspicious websites (torrent, short-end URLs etc.) that can host malicious scripts and avoid giving confidential information such as OTP, Bank accounts, Credit/Debit cards or Social security number to prevent themselves to get tricked by spoofed/impersonated Social Media accounts.

Giving details about the modus operandi of the accused persons in two cases registered, DIG State Cyber Crime Nilambari Jagdale said that the primary motive of culprits was to defraud the recipients and this kind of fraud is prevalent all across India. These unscrupulous elements take unauthorised access to the mobile phones of unsuspecting and gullible individuals by using various hi-tech means, she said.

"Thereafter, the accused impersonate themselves as Senior Officers/dignitaries and demand financial favours in the shape of Amazon gift vouchers or on pretext of medical emergency or by creating any sort of emergent situation,"said the DIG, adding that the further investigation is technical in nature and Cyber Crime teams have been collating many facts and joining the necessary dots to reach the perpetrators involved in the crime.

She added that they are close to nabbing the accused involved in defrauding innocent people.

Meanwhile, such incidents also came to light in the years 2020-2021 in which State Cyber Crime, Punjab achieved major success by breaking the nexus and nabbing the key accused from different parts of the country.

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