Kashmir's poster boy, Shah Faesal, who became first Kashmiri to top the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in 2010, is aghast with online shopping. Like many other online shoppers, Faesal too has become a victim of phishing, which cost him Rs 75,000.
Faesal, who is south Kashmir Pulwama district's deputy commissioner, said he received a message this week that he has shopped for Rs 70,000 in Dubai.
"I was surprised to see the message," said Faesal, a resident of north Kashmir's Kupwara.
He had booked some air tickets yatra.com and bought books from Flipkart and HomeShop18 some time ago. "No grand shopping! But even these 'trusted' websites are not safe enough," he said.
"Till now it happened to others so it was not an issue. But today I realize what did the wise men say!" he added.
The crime branch and the cyber cell of Kashmir are working hard to identify the on-line thieves. "We are investigating the matter. In such cases, it is difficult to identify the culprits," said inspector general of police, crime branch, A.G Mir.
Bitten hard, Faesal is preaching against online shopping to his fans on social networking sites. "Folks, be very careful with your Credit Cards and Net Banking. Lost 75000 to some over-seas thief, who hacked my card. Trust me it hurts real big time! So no more online shopping now. Learning it the hard way!" wrote Faesal on Facebook, where hundreds of users follow him for tips on IAS exams.
He said he is educating the people on the reality of the online shopping. "The idea is to emphasize how real is the threat and how careful we all should be. Money is returned or not, that is not the issue," he said.
Faesal became a national hero when he became first Kashmiri Muslim to top IAS exams, motivating hundreds of students in the valley to follow his footsteps. He lost his father to militants' bullets and pursued MBBS in difficult times. However, motivated to contribute to people of Kashmir, he choose IAS path to serve his state.