A 30-year-old woman from Parel filed a complaint with the Kalachowkie police on February 13 after an unknown person hacked her Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and started messaging her friends asking for money.
According to police officials, the complainant identified as Nehal Jain, a housemaker, said the hacker initially sent her a link and when she clicked on it, her account got hacked.
Speaking to HT, she said, “The accused sent me a link on WhatsApp and asked me to copy and send her back the same link, so I did it as the accused had used the display picture of someone I know closely, so I did it.”
The accused hacked the complainant’s Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and then started demanding money from all the friends and relatives in her contact list.
“Using my profile the hacker would claim that I am in urgent need of money and would ask them to send the money immediately. One of my friends instantly sent Rs 5,000 to the hacker’s Paytm account thinking that I urgently need money,” added the complainant.
The incident came to light on February 8 after the friend contacted the complainant asking why Jain was demanding money.
“When I called up teh number, through which the link was sent, the accused threatened me and claimed that no police would be able to arrest him,” said Jain.
Kalachowkie police have booked the accused under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code along with section 66 (C) under Information Technology Act 2000.
Senior police inspector Dilip Ughale from Kalachowkie police station confirmed said they are investigating matter. The police have also sought help from the specialised Cyber Cell department and have written to Facebook requesting the details of the user.
Safety tips for social media
* Never send money to unknown internet friends without first verifying their identity. Many times people create fake accounts and ask others to send money to their accounts. Even email accounts get hacked very often
* Never give your personal information to any unknown internet friend as they may harass you and ask you for money. If your social network profile has your contact address or phone number, etc, remove it or classify them as private information
* Never download email attachments without scanning for viruses. Viruses and phishing softwares can easily be attached to mails. If you download blindly, you compromise with the security
* Change your password regularly
* You can easily identify fake emails as they will be in the name of some bank, organisation, etc without a mention of your name. This is because the sender does not have your personal information as he chooses your email randomly
Dial for help
Any internet cheating or crime can be reported to the Mumbai police’s cyber wing
24x7 helpline: 9820810007
Office: Cyber police station, first floor, Bandra-Kurla Complex police station, Bandra (E), Mumbai