Published: 18th March 2019
Think twice before pressing the 'accept' button on friend requests sent to you on FB, warns B'luru cops
Even though Facebook has changed the way the world communicates, there is also a dark side to the popular social media service
The Cyber Police Department in Bengaluru said that they receive a minimum of 20 cases in a month with regards to cyber-stalking and people getting robbed or cheated on due to befriending some stranger on Facebook. Most of the victims are youngsters and educated middle-aged people, they said.
Police say that in many cases people, both men and women, do not think twice before pressing the ‘accept’ button on a friend request sent to them on Facebook. While some people argue that it is a good way to find a partner, one has to be careful about believing everything online, warned the cops.
A senior police officer gave an example of a 20-year-old youth, who was a recent victim of these cybercriminals. He said, “The cybercriminals sent a friend request to the boy under the name of a girl. Unsuspecting, the boy looking at the picture of the girl with her family and friends accepted the request. The duo even had private moments on video calls, where he informed her about some of the porn materials which he possessed. After a few months, the girl stopped responding to his messages and her mobile was constantly switched off. The boy became severely depressed, and started having trouble studying.”
The real shocker came a month later when he started receiving messages from an unknown number saying they had hacked into his system and had all his videos and porn viewing data. They threatened to expose him if he did not pay an amount starting from Rs 50,000 and going up to Rs 2 lakh, the police officer said.
“Such cases keep happening. It is unfortunate that many parents fearing exposure of their children’s name and they don’t lodge complaints. If every one lodged a complaint, then I am sure the numbers would be more than 100 a month,” said the investigating cyber crime officer.
“Even educated people can fall prey to such criminals. If one is looking for a partner, always ensure you verify his credentials. Another dangerous trend is online stalkers who get people’s personal data by hacking into their accounts,” said another officer.