Police book one for impersonating Gurugram top cop on WhatsApp
The matter surfaced on November 23, when a few officers of Gurugram police received identical WhatsApp messages, from an unknown number, claiming to be the commissioner of police
An unidentified person was booked for allegedly impersonating Gurugram commissioner of police, Vikas Kumar Arora, on WhatsApp by putting a fake profile picture to dupe his subordinates into giving him gifts, officers said on Tuesday.
The matter surfaced on November 23, when a few officers of Gurugram police received identical WhatsApp messages, from an unknown number, claiming to be the commissioner of police.
In the messages, the suspect asked the officers to purchase gift cards of mobile phone giant Apple and online shopping platform Amazon worth ₹50,000. The officers were also asked to send the suspect the codes of the gift cards that would be used to buy items,police said.
Mayank Gupta, deputy commissioner of police (east), who had also received the message from the impersonator on his official mobile number available on public domain, at around 7pm on November 23. “It took a few seconds to realise what was happening. But as soon as it became clear that it was a cyber fraud, I engaged him in conversation,” Gupta said.
The DCP said he initially denied having any knowledge of gift cards, and asked the suspect to instead provide banking details so that he could send the suspect ₹50,000. “He immediately provided the details. When the money was not transferred to him, he realised he could get caught and vanished,” Gupta said, adding that an FIR was then registered at Cybercrime police station (East) in connection with the incident on November 24.
According to the DCP, the suspect had used a virtual number to create the WhatsApp account on which he had used the commissioner’s picture available on the Gurugram police’s official website as a profile picture.
The police commissioner did not respond to HT’s queries for a comment on the matter.
A similar incident took place over a year ago with officers in Sonepat police, the DCP said.
According to investigators, coupon codes or gift cards are sold by cybercriminals on dark and deep web at discounted rates after receiving payment from buyers in cryptocurrencies to avoid any digital footprint. However, the buyers can be traced, as they are unaware that the voucher codes are proceeds of crime, they said.