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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Cyber police advise caution after rounding up online extortion gang in Bengaluru

Explaining the modus operandi in a case cracked recently with the arrest of a gang of four, senior CID officers said that the fraudsters targeted the general public on social media accounts to gather their personal information.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 19, 2021 8:08:34 am
Bengaluru, CID, Karnataka extortion racket, Criminal Investigation Department, online extortion gang in Bengaluru, Cyber police, Bengaluru news, indian expressAccording to the senior police official, the Cybercrime Incident Report system, much like filing an FIR, is an information-based Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) mechanism being built for the police by a tech firm. (Representational)

The cybercrime department of the Bengaluru City Police has urged people to be cautious while sharing intimate content online to people they befriended on social media.

“Citizens are requested to exercise utmost caution while dealing with any stranger on social media and should make it a practice of using the privacy controls in mobile devices as well as in applications,” Umesh Kumar, ADGP, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said.

Explaining the modus operandi in a case cracked recently with the arrest of a gang of four, senior CID officers said that the fraudsters targeted the general public on social media accounts to gather their personal information. “Such fraudsters send requests to men on social media pretending to be a woman. Later, they urge men to come on video calls and to share private/intimate photos and videos, which would later be used for blackmailing and extorting money,” a CID official said.

The cybercrime police identified the four, who were arrested from Bharatpur and other places in Rajasthan, as Sahun, Sharukh Khan, Nasir, and Shahid Anwar, adding that they were linked to similar other cases. The arrests were made in connection with a case reported at the Cybercrime Police Station of Bengaluru on February 24.

The CID issued a public appeal, saying, “Fake profiles with attractive photographs on dating apps, social media sites, matrimonial websites/apps are generally used by the criminals to get in touch with victims. Initially, the conversations will be normal for a few days and once confidence is established, the victim will be induced to share their intimate/nude pictures and videos with them. Upon getting access to these private pictures and/or videos, the fraudsters will start extorting the victim for money. The fraudster will threaten to upload their pictures/videos on the internet or share those with his/her relatives, family and friends.”

PS Sandhu, DGP (CID, Economic Offences & Special Units), said, “I urge the public to report such cases to the nearest police station.”

Karnataka High Court recently directed the state government to submit details pertaining to cases registered, investigated and for which charge sheets were filed by CEN (Cyber Crime, Economic and Narcotics) police stations in Bengaluru. The Division Bench order was pronounced after hearing on a public interest litigation that alleged poor functioning of eight CEN stations in the state capital.

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