More people seeking online revenge, risking arrest: BKC cyber police

Of the nearly 210 FIRs registered in 2015 at the BKC cyber police station, 80 relate to fake Facebook profiles, stalking

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai | Published: February 4, 2016 1:15 am

PARENTS OF a Class 9 girl recently approached the police after someone created a fake profile in their daughter’s name on Facebook, with inappropriate pictures. It turned out the profile was created by the girl’s classmate, who used to top the class till the victim beat her to the first rank. Unable to bear this, the girl decided to mock her friend online.

According to BKC cyber police, the case is far from an isolated one. Jilted lovers, jealous colleagues and pranksters are increasingly taking to online platforms to ‘get back’, an act that the police say can land them in jail.

According to cyber police officers, ‘online revenge’ is behind 38 per cent of the complaints they received over the past year.

Of the nearly 210 FIRs registered in 2015 at the BKC cyber police station, 80 of the complaints relate to fake profiles on Facebook and cyber stalking cases. While in 2013, there were just two such cases, 14 of them were registered in 2014. In most of these cases, someone known to the victim is behind the crime.

The cyber police on Wednesday arrested a man who had created an obscene Facebook profile in the name of his former wife, added her phone number, and then tagged all her friends. The woman approached the cyber police, who traced the IP address of the computer from which the profile had been created and found her husband was behind the act.

In most of these cases, the charges under which the accused are booked are bailable. However, if explicit sexual content is put up, then the accused is booked under section 67 (A) of the Information technology Act, a non-bailable section. DCP (cyber crime) CS Rajkumar said that in most of these cases, the accused do not know that creating a Facebook profile in the name of someone else is an offence.

“Also, following someone by tracking their internet

activity and bothering them falls under ‘stalking’, which is an offence under section 354 (D) under the Indian Penal Code,” Raj Kumar said.

The only way to prevent such acts, he said, is to inform the youth that what they may think is a harmless prank can land them behind bars, an officer said. A few months ago, four students of a school, who had created an obscene Facebook profile in the name of their class teacher, ended up in trouble after an offence was registered by the teacher. “Hence we have been sending our officers to schools to interact with students and tell them what constitutes a cyber crime,” a senior officer said.

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