Now, Bengal police has proven itself cybersavvy. South 24 Parganas police not only lodged a complaint based on information that it had received from Facebook, but also intimated the victim of its success through the social networking site in a first-of-its-kind case of the state.
The victim Arup Deb, who is a resident of Behala, lodged a complaint to district police through the Facebook profile on July 4 after being duped of Rs 50,000 from his bank account. He Deb got back is money on August 26.
"It the second instance in the country that a complaint was lodged through Facebook. The earlier one was in Kanpur. In Bengal for the first time an FIR was lodged through the socialnetworking site,"said Murlidhar, additional police superintendent, South 24 Parganas.
"We have successfully recovered the victim's money," added Murlidhar.
The cops are on the trail of the fraudstar in Mumbai.
"I am a Facebook addict. I saw the page of South 24 Parganas police on July 4, the day it was launched. I posted my complaint on the 'wall' of the page. And surprisingly, response came in a few seconds," said Deb.
Deb, an accountant, was duped of Rs 50,000 on June 20 after he revealed his banking code to somebody on the phone who claimed to be a bank agent.
Deb visited the Behala police station and the bank, but there was no positive response. Hence, after a gap of 14 days, he posted his problem on the wall of South 24 Parganas police.
"I had no hope, but posted my complaint as a natural impulse of a regular Facebook user," he told HT on Monday.
The police treated the post as an FIR and investigated the case.
"Our team is working in Mumbai, where the fraudster stays and has his account. We will arrest him soon," said Murlidhar.
The Facebook page of police had already been 'liked' by over 300 residents and police had so far interacted with around 2000 people on its 'wall'.
From guidance, preventive methods to complaints, people have started flocking to the page. Some even shared information regarding crime in his locality. The police was prompt to reply, assuring the complainants of help.
A visit to the page reveals how common people are pouring in complaints through the social networking site.
While Alok Naskar wrote antisocial elements are running a hooch den in his native village in Baruipur, student Anindya Das, wrote his cell phone got stolen.
In an instant reply Naskar was told that SDPO Baruipur has been directed to conduct raids on the den. The police asked Das for his number and IMEI number and promised him help.
"We have conducted raids, pulled up non-performing officers over what people tell us in Facebook. We even try and help people who complain about bad road conditions and traffic jams guiding them how to lodge a complaint," said Murlidhar.