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Bengaluru: Four held in Rajasthan for cheating through fake social media profiles

Four held in Rajasthan for cheating through fake social media profiles
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Four held in Rajasthan for cheating through fake social media profiles

Highlights

Several incidents of duplication of social media profiles have been reported across the State

Bengaluru: Several incidents of duplication of social media profiles have been reported across the State. Four such cases have been registered at Cyber Crime Division, CID headquarters, Bengaluru and 10 elsewhere in the State.

"There is a rise in number of instances where the social media profiles of public figures, government officials including police officers across the country being duplicated to cheat the public. The imposter sends friend requests to all the contacts and, once accepted, demands for money is made citing some emergency.

Individuals whose fake profiles have been created have appealed to their contacts not to accept any new friend request without verification to avoid victimisation," the release stated. The team comprising K R Nagaraj, DSP, Cyber Crimes Division, CID, Nayaz Ahmed, police inspector, CCD, CID was formed to investigate the cases registered by Cyber Crime Division, CID, Bengaluru.

Rohini Katoch Sepat, DIGP (I/c), Economic Offences, CID, and M D Sharath, SP, Cyber Crimes Division, CID supervised the investigation. Based on the leads received during the investigation, Mr Nagaraj along with Nayaz Ahmed and team visited Bharathpur and other places in Rajasthan and were successful in arresting the four accused Ansar, Balvinder Singh, Saini and Saddam.

One more accused Shakeel, who created fake Facebook profiles is still absconding.

During the course of investigation, it is learnt that the accused collected the professional photographs and information of public figures, government officials including police officers through social media accounts to create fake profile.

In the guise of such profiles, they first send friend requests who are already on officer's friend list. Upon acceptance of friend request, they induce the persons to transfer money to various e-wallets/payment bank accounts citing some urgent need. The accused persons created fake Aadhaar cards by mixing up various photographs, address and Aadhaar numbers.

One of the accused, a retailer of SIM cards, used such fake Aadhaar details to apply for activation of thousands of fake SIM cards. The Distributors joined hands with culprits and activated such SIM cards bypassing verification.

In addition to impersonating on Facebook, the investigation revealed that the accused used fake SIM cards to open various social media accounts (FB, Twitter, Instagram etc.,), to advertise on online re-selling platforms like Olx and Quikr, to open e-wallets / payment bank accounts (PayTM, Airtel Money, Google Pay, PhonePe etc.,), in order to commit various cyber & online financial crimes across the country.

The investigation also revealed misuse of Aadhaar by miscreants took advantage of SIM cards and also a serious flaw in the verification process followed by mobile service providers in issuing new mobile connection.

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