Maharashtra Cyber has issued an advisory to the netizens to watch out for the 'Ditto' scam, wherein a person poses as the victim and creates a fake profile to claim he is in debt and ask for financial aid from the victim's loved ones. Police said that to stay away from such scams, one should always keep their social media profiles as private as possible.
Explaining the 'Ditto' scam, police said that the fraudster creates a fake account by impersonating the target on social media and deceive them by sending messages asking for financial aid. The scammer will create an account using the profile picture, personal details similar to that of the victim's original account. The fraudster will then send out friend requests to all the friends, and ask for financial help on the pretext of a personal emergency or accidents.
In the advisory, the state cyber police cautioned the citizens to report any fake or ditto account that they encounter. Sanjay Shintre, Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Cyber, said the citizens need not visit a police station and lodge a complaint, but they simply have to alert Facebook through a single click that their account has been copied and a fake person was using their identity.
Recently, friends and acquaintances of a senior traffic police official had received a friend request from an account that seemed to be his, matching the description of his original account on Facebook. Realising it to be a second account of the officer, people accepted the request and within a couple of hours, the imposter requested the victims to transfer ₹2,000. The scamster asked victims to wire money through e-commerce payment websites, to avert getting traced. Soon after the traffic official learnt about his fake profile being created on the social media platform, he immediately alerted his friends and asked them not to indulge in the con.
"One should apply appropriate privacy settings on their social media account so that the scamster could neither get access to your personal details, profile picture, but also your friend list. If you see any such posts or requests made by any of your friends, please do report it to Facebook by following their step by step procedure and safeguard yourself," added SP Shintre.