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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Odisha: Senior IT official’s WhatApp account hacked

The state Crime Branch has taken suo motu cognisance of the case. It has also taken over the investigations into the FIRs that Manoj Kumar Pattnaik’s friends got registered.

By: Express News Service | Bhubaneswar |
Updated: November 12, 2021 7:27:29 pm
WhatsApp, WhatApp web, Whatsapp login,“I had first received a call on WhatsApp from an unknown number. When I answered there was no response. The caller hung up 30 seconds later,” Pattnaik said. (Express Photo)

The Additional Secretary official of Odisha’s Electronics and Information Technology department fell victim to a cyber crime after a hacker broke into his WhatsApp account and duped some of his contacts of Rs 7 lakh by impersonating him.

Manoj Kumar Pattnaik, also the the chief executive officer of Odisha computer application centre that powers several e-governance initiatives, alleged that the hacker sent distress messages to his contacts, seeking money. At least five of his friends transferred the money to the UPI address shared by the imposter, assuming the messages were genuine, Pattnaik said.

“I had first received a call on WhatsApp from an unknown number. When I answered there was no response. The caller hung up 30 seconds later,” Pattnaik said.

“A few hours later one of my friends called to ask about my health. That’s when we realized that someone had hacked into my account. I received a number of calls after that. On learning that this was a case of fraud, a few friends of mine also registered a case in the police station,” Pattnaik added.

For a few hours after that, Pattnaik was unable to operate his WhatsApp account from the same contact number.

The state Crime Branch has taken suo motu cognisance of the case. It has also taken over the investigations into the FIRs that Pattnaik’s friends got registered.

“As per the preliminary investigation, we are tracing the WhatsApp call and the UPI address. Initial investigations suggest links from Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu and teams have been dispatched to the locations for further probe,” a senior Crime Branch official said.

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