The Cyber Crime Cell of Punjab Police on Wednesday issued an advisory for the people of the state suggesting to be vigilant about messages demanding financial or administrative favours using fake WhatsApp IDs impersonating VVIPs.
The Cyber Crime Cell said anyone receiving such messages should immediately report the toll free number ‘1930’.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Cyber Crime Cell, RK Jaiswal said in two such cases, fraudsters impersonating VVIPs trying to defraud innocent people have come to the fore in less than a month.
He said the Cyber Crime Cell has registered two FIRs on 26 April 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. Jaiswal said all efforts are being made by the State Cyber Crime to nab the culprits.
The IGP advised people to restrain from reacting on the basis of the display picture or name on WhatsApp or 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 or debit cards or social security number to prevent themselves to get tricked by spoofed or impersonated social media accounts.
Giving details about the modus operandi of the accused persons in two cases registered, DIG Punjab Cyber Crime Cell, Nilambari Jagdale said 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 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.
Jagdale said 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.