The Mumbai police experienced mixed emotions of anger and embarrassment on Friday as a conman, posing as Mumbai Commissioner of Police (CP) Vivek Phansalkar, sent WhatsApp messages to innumerable people asking for Amazon gift vouchers valued at Rs 10,000.
The police said the imposter used the CP’s picture as his display photo (DP) on his WhatsApp account to perpetrate the fraud. The con was already underway for several days before the message reached a senior policeman, who alerted the authorities. However, no complaint has been received from anyone else. The police said they are registering a First Information Report (FIR) and are trying to trace the accused.
A team of crime branch and cybercrime cell personnel is tracking the WhatsApp number and ascertaining if any financial transaction by the members of the public was done in response to the fraud message.
The message read, “There is something I need you to please do for me urgently, as I am currently attending a very crucial meeting with limited phone calls. There are some listed prospects I am presenting gifts today. I can’t get it done myself due to meetings and I don’t have any of my cards with me. How quickly can you arrange these gift cards because I need to send them out in less than an hour? I would provide you with the type of gift cards and the amount of each. I will reimburse you before the end of the day (sic).”
The message goes on to add, “(sic) Alright thanks a lot, Here are the details: 20 pieces of Amazon pay E gift cards with Rs 10,000 value on each card (Use either the Congratulations or Thank you theme) Have the link shared here so I can easily forward them directly to prospects. Please notify me once you are done with the purchase as it’s quite urgent. Thanks.”
Earlier last week, a cyber fraudster posed as the chairman and managing director of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) and tried to dupe the company’s employees by sending them WhatsApp messages, asking for money owing to an emergency. An alert MSEDCL executive engineer felt suspicious and cautioned other employees, who said that they, too, had received the message.
<!– Published on: Friday, August 26, 2022, 11:37 PM IST –> <!–