Three men who allegedly tricked people into creating fake Facebook user profiles, including a senior Uttar Pradesh government official, have been apprehended, officials said on Saturday.
The three men were arrested in the Govardhan area of Mathura district on Friday by the UP police special task force (STF), officials said.
Additional Police Superintendent, STF, Vishal Vikram Singh, said the agency had received reports of cybercriminals creating fake Facebook user profiles who were using its messaging service to trick people out of their money.
“These idiots created fake or hacked Facebook profiles. Then they would use the messaging service to message the user’s contacts and cook up stories about the need for money. They would ask the contacts to send. money through e-wallets like PhonePe, Google Pay, Paytm or through UPI, ”Singh said.
Recently, unidentified cybercriminals created a fake Facebook profile of RK Tiwari, the chief secretary of the UP government, and attempted to dupe his contacts in the same way, the STF said in a statement.
The case was turned over to STF, which contacted the US-based social media giant and also used electronic surveillance methods to locate suspects in the Govardhan area of Mathura, he said.
The defendants were identified as Sharafat aka Kala, Sukhdeen Khan and a minor, and they were taken to Lucknow, the STF said.
An FIR was filed against them at Cyber Police Station in Lucknow under IPC sections for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy. They were also charged under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, the agency said.