The Maharashtra Cyber on Monday issued an advisory, warning citizens to stay safe from fraud related to fake social media profiles.
The police in their advisory stated that this type of fraud can damage one's online reputation and public image through false information spread by the culprit. The victims, according to the advisory, can become vulnerable to attacks like phishing and financial scams.
According to the police, creating fake profiles is a cyber offence wherein the culprit creates profiles with the name and identity of the victim. The culprit may also use social media bots (automatic computer programs) to create a fake profile with a randomly selected picture and details.
"The culprit may operate with a fake profile to spread fake or false information to damage the reputation of the victim and may also send or add friend requests to other friends of the victim. Also any communication made by the culprit to the friends and family of the actual account holder through this fake account can make them vulnerable to attacks like phishing and financial scams," the advisory stated.
The police advise that one should always save the screenshots of online incidents as proof to support their claim or complaint with relevant evidence. The victims should also make a note of the person's mobile number or other details of the suspect or culprit, the police said.
Speaking about the safety measures one should take to avoid falling prey to this fraud, the advisory states, "Avoid sharing your personal information like mobile number, address, personal mail ID, and other sensitive identity-related information on social media."
"One should never click on suspicious links to download anything until the authenticity of the source is verified. Also, one should never accept friend requests without appropriate verification and confirmation. Be aware of the security and privacy features and enable them on your social media accounts, " the police added.