Mumbai: Conmen create cops’ profile to seek financial help; police warn people

In a new wave of cyber frauds, a number of crooks have created fake profiles of senior police officers, and the fraudster sends friend requests to the people in the lawman's friend list and then slides into the direct messenger to ask for money. A senior cyber official said that lately this trend is rampant and police officers have been cautioning their acquaintances on social media to not to offer any 'help' if they receive such requests, so they do not fall into the trap and get conned.

A couple of days ago, friends and acquaintances of a senior traffic police official 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 Rs 2,000.

Explaining the modus operandi of the accused, a police officer said that the crooks always resorted to a payment app, to mislead the victim.

"When the victim would ask where the officer wanted money transferred, the conman would ask them to wire money through an e-commerce payment website. The accused would hammer the victim three or four times asking them to pay, and after the payment is through, they would block the user," said a senior Cyber police officer.

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. Last week, in a similar case, a Facebook profile of a 1993 batch IPS officer was created with his name, bio and photograph. The officers immediately alerted cyber police and blocked the fake account as well as the payment app account that they used to collect money.

Cyber Police have appealed to the masses to not transfer money to anybody just over a message and always confirm with the person who claims to be in need, as 95 per cent of the times, this modus operandi will be a con setup. "Nobody in need will request you to transfer money in a third party account. Be safe and vigilant from such cybercrimes and if one comes across such incident, immediately approach Cyber police," said an officer.

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