Crime

Inspired by ‘Crime Patrol’, man from Anantnag ‘cheats destitute women on pretext of providing Govt jobs’, arrested

‘The man said he was inspired by Crime Patrol and learnt the modus operandi of social media crimes by watching the said serial’

Srinagar: The Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone on Friday said that it has arrested a man from south Kashmir’s Anantnag district for deceiving a number of young and destitute women on the pretext of providing jobs to them.

The man, according to police, used to impersonate a high profile dignitary and would often identify himself as political and television personality by using their pictures on social media.

In a statement, Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone, Srinagar said that it received a written complaint from a woman (name withheld) hailing from Baramulla district of north Kashmir alleging that she has been cheated by the unknown Facebook user operating from multiple fake Facebook accounts and impersonating as Project Officer in ICDS on the pretext of providing a job to her.

On receipt of this complaint case, FIR No 23/2020 under relevant sections of law was registered in Cyber Police Station and an investigation was set into motion.

During the course of the investigation, the said unknown Facebook user was found operating more than 15 fake Facebook accounts, both male and female, and had fraudulently obtained a number of SIM cards from the victims which he was using to cheat and deceive the female victims ‘especially young and destitute girls’.

“The accused by his vicious and wicked plans has grabbed lakhs of rupees from the victims on the pretext of providing jobs to them,” the statement by police said.

The modus operandi of the accused include creation of fake Facebook accounts by using profile pictures of high profile dignitaries mostly associated with politics and television and sending friend requests to the young girls who were allured by the profiles of the accused and would often chat with the accused who “used to impress them with his flagitious activities and promises of offering jobs to them”.

He made them believe that he could help them in getting jobs and consequently coerced them to pay money, police said, adding that the accused also used to compel the young girls to share their objectionable photos and videos and using the same for blackmailing them.

He would make victims transfer money not into his personal account but in the accounts of other victims who were cheated in the same manner and subsequently used to collect the amount by sending some other person(s) to avoid himself getting exposed.

The accused used to frequently change his mobile phones and SIM cards and create new Facebook accounts on the name of high posted government employees and made victims believe that they too have been provided jobs by him.

“During the course of the investigation and with strenuous efforts and rigorous analysis of his cyber signatures, footprints at different cyber platforms, the experts of Cyber Police station Kashmir were able to trace and identify the accused as Mohammad Hussain Mir @ Bitta Morray, son of  Late Ghulam Qadir Mir, a resident of Lazibal, KP Road Anantnag, a shopkeeper by profession,” police said.

The accused was subsequently arrested and during the further investigation, he was found to have used various devices and has cheated more than 100 destitute and young girls belonging to Kashmir as well as Jammu division who were in desperate need of jobs.

During questioning the accused admitted that he was inspired by a famous TV serial “Crime Patrol” and he learnt the modus operandi of social media crimes by watching the said serial.

Further, one accomplice of the accused who used to provide fake SIM cards to the accused was also arrested and more arrests in the case are expected, the statement said.

Meanwhile, police have advised the public to be aware of such online job scams where the fraudsters pretend to be as government officers and high profile dignitaries. Moreover, the public is advised neither to accept any friendship request on social media platforms from unknown persons nor share their personal details including photographs and videos with unknown social media users as these details could be used by these fake users, fraudsters to cheat, blackmail people.

 

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