Absence of formal complaints limits scope of probe: police
Two more cases of attempted fraud in the name of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) were reported to the police on Twitter on Thursday morning. Police officials said the preference for reporting on social media and not filing a formal complaint can limit the scope of investigation.
The Media had first reported the trend in August, when two Mumbai residents got a WhatsApp message claiming that they had won a lottery. Both of them tweeted to the Mumbai Police on their official Twitter handle, and were advised to register formal complaints.
On Thursday morning, two more users tweeted that they had received a video from unknown numbers on WhatsApp, claiming that they had won a lottery of ₹25 lakh. The video, which consisted of a single image with the KBC logo and a recorded audio clip in the background, instructed in Hindi to contact a ‘bank manager’ whose number was mentioned, so that they could ‘collect their cheque’ at the soonest.
The police instructed both the Twitter users to register a complaint at the nearest police station, and cautioned them against falling prey to such con jobs. “We are observing a trend where people prefer to inform us on Twitter. In the absence of a formal complaint, we find our work limited to preliminary inquiries. A complaint empowers the investigating agency to legally seek details of a suspect number and get its location and other information. The perpetrators of such frauds could be based at any location, not just in the country,” a Cyber police officer said.
The officer said such frauds are advanced versions of phishing scams, where sensitive details of the targets are sought with the lure of easy money like a lottery.
“Once the target contacts the number mentioned in the message, the person at the other end slowly wins the target’s trust and then either convinces them to pay some amounts as transaction fees or to reveal their sensitive bank details under some pretext or the other. The video that the two people received on Thursday instructs them to contact the supposed bank manager on WhatsApp and not via call. As a result, the entire conversation occurs on text messaging, offering a further layer of anonymity to the perpetrators,” another officer said.