Karnataka: If you are a Facebook user and get a friend request from a person having a profile photo of him wearing a police uniform introducing themselves as a senior police officer, exercise caution before accepting the request or else you would be the next victim of this new modus operandi of cybercriminals who are siphoning off the money by creating fake accounts of police officers.
There has been an alarming increase in incidents of creation of identical Facebook accounts especially that of Karnataka State police officers by cyber crooks to seek monetary help from social media users. In recent times, at least ten such incidents have been reported in the state where accounts of top cops were impersonated and messages were sent to their friends on social media seeking money by claiming they were in a financial crisis.
The cyber thugs are resorting to this new modus operandi of creating fake accounts and they have also been successful in siphoning off money from several social media users impersonating top police officers.
The fraudsters first create a fake Facebook account of the police similar to what the real police is using, upload a similar profile picture and other details to make it look real, and then send a request to all his friends and relatives. The fraudsters would then have a casual chat via messengers after befriending them and later would request to transfer some amount of money giving any reason. They would suggest transferring the money via e-wallet.
The cyber crooks so far have created such fake Facebook accounts impersonating Ramanagar Superintendent of Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police (traffic), Mysuru- Sandesh Kumar, Lokayukta SP- Sneha, Karwar Rural sub-inspector Revannasiddappa, Sindhanur Rural Sub-inspector Raghavendra, Bantwal rural police sub-inspector Prasanna, a fake account of Cowl Bazar police inspector, Ballari, retired DCP Maheshwarappa, and many others.
The fraudsters have also not spared already dead police officers while a fake account impersonating later Coastal Security police Harsihchandra was also created recently and tried to cheat a resident of Madikeri district.
Most of the police officials have reported the fake accounts and have also lodged complaints to take action against the fraudsters, who are said to be operating from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, and other north Indian states.
A highly placed source in the police department revealed that all cops have been instructed to not share photos of them in uniform in social media to prevent misuse of using their photos to defraud people.
A senior police officer attached to the cybercrime cell said that they are receiving such complaints of fraudsters impersonating and cloning Facebook accounts. “We have taken the issue seriously and tracing those involved in it. A person who created a similar fake profile of Bengaluru city police was arrested recently and we would take severe actions on those involved in it,” he said.
Academicians targeted: Meanwhile, cybercriminals have also started eyeing on University professors and research scholars. There have been reports of professors and Assistant professors of the University of Mysore receiving calls from cyber thugs who talk to them on the pretext of offering them insurance, loan and try to collect their card and account details and siphon off money from them.
A source revealed that a professor of the University of Mysore has lost nearly Rs 8 lakh and he learned that the fraudsters had emptied his account only after three months, following which a complaint was lodged. The professor believing that the caller was from the bank had shared the OTP that gave them free hand to get away with money in his account.
This has shaken varsity teachers as many have started getting request mails for financial assistance of a patient and many get calls asking for sharing bank details, OTPs assuring them monitory gains.
“We have been constantly creating awareness among the public to not share OTP with anyone and in most of the cases, people lose money sharing their OTP’s. We can put an end to this only when people stop giving OTP’s,” said an officer from the Cybercrime police station.
Ministry of Home Affairs asks all NGOs seeking Foreign Donations to open FCRA Account at the SBI’s New Delhi branch
New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked all NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010, will now have to open or maintain an FCRA account in State Bank of India’s New Delhi main branch at Sansad Marg, for exclusively receiving all foreign contributions.
In September, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2020 was amended by Parliament and a new provision that makes it mandatory for all non-government organisations and associations to receive foreign funds in a designated bank account at SBI’s New Delhi branch was inserted.
The order said an NGO will have to report the amount and source of foreign remittance received to the authorities. The order said the Centre has notified the New Delhi Main Branch (NDMB) of SBI, 11 Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001 for the purposes of opening the “FCRA account” to receive foreign contribution.
The government said to open the account, the applicant need not visit the NDMB in Delhi and they might approach the nearest SBI branch or their SBI branch of choice.
It further said that all persons/associations/NGOs who are already registered under FCRA will get sufficient time to transition to the new system and can open accounts at NDMB till March 31, 2021.
“However, all fresh applicants for certificate of registration or prior permission under the FCRA, 2010, shall have to first open the FCRA account in the NDMB to receive any foreign contribution,” the order said. The government while adding that NDMB will not levy any fee to transfer the foreign funds to the designated FCRA account said, “It is further clarified that the applicant person/NGO/ association has complete liberty to retain its present FCRA account as the another FCRA account in any branch of a scheduled bank of its choice. They can link this account with the designated FCRA account opened in NDMB, Delhi.
The government said that NGOs registered under FCRA shall not receive any foreign donations in any other bank account from April 1, 2021.
Facebook shuts down Christian ministry’s page with no explanation
Facebook has removed the page of Restored Hope Network, a Christian ministry that helps those with unwanted sexual attractions and gender confusion.
While no explanation was given as to why the page was taken down, the ministry believes the social media giant’s move is part of ongoing efforts in support of government prohibitions on the practice of what some refer to as “conversion therapy,” a phrase RHN maintains has been weaponized to shut down any kind of counseling that coheres with the historic Christian faith’s view on sexual ethics.
“It is a deliberately and misleadingly provocative term coined by the LGBTQ activist community that does not describe any type of actual counseling assistance offered to men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction,” explained Anne Paulk, executive director of Restored Hope Network, in a statement sent to The Christian Post on Thursday.
Paul said Facebook’s actions amounted to an example of viewpoint discrimination.
“Facebook is deciding they have the authority to silence the stories of those of us whose lives have changed,” she continued. “Their dismissive action — canceling our page as if it never existed, leaving a vague ‘the link may be broken’ message in its place — is shameful. Not even extending us the courtesy of a notification, a chance to offer our side of the very politicized story, is unconscionable.”
Paulk added in a Thursday interview with The Christian Post that it is important for Christians to understand that their views about human sexuality and personhood are not welcome on the world’s largest communication hub.
“It’s like a community center that certain people aren’t allowed in and they’re being forced out,” she said.
“We have to be wise about how we respond here. Legally, it appears that [Facebook] is above the law but keeping a record of what’s happening, getting that information to legislators that care and seeing it impact a bunch of different people, which is coming, is very important to fight for your rights and not just give them away.”
She added that within culture, a systemic problem of hostility toward Christians pervades a number of spheres, with social media being just one. Paulk will be attempting to restore the ministry’s Facebook page and developing other ways of maintaining communication.
“We existed before Facebook was ever around, we’ll exist after Facebook is around because we belong to the Most High God,” Paulk said.
Despite the censorship, which began with the removal of posts earlier this year, the ministry has no plans to cease its work advocating for those who struggle in this way and wish to live in accordance with their faith.
“The last time I looked, we still live in the United States. Freedom to choose what to do with one’s life — and seek help that one wants — is a dearly held value,” Paulk stressed.
“People looking for change should be free to find services and resources from counselors, schools, churches and ministries like ours to help them achieve their desired goals. We will remain here, fighting for their rights, despite Facebook’s best efforts to muzzle us and disenfranchise them.”
Paulk was also among the authors who once lived and identified as LGBT whose books were removed from Amazon last year. Her book, Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction, was said to be in violation of the online retailer’s “content guidelines.”
“It is appalling that Amazon has banned books detailing how one struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction can overcome those feelings and steward his or her sexuality in a biblical fashion, while thinking nothing of selling books that celebrate the kind of deviancy Jeffrey Epstein was accused of,” Paulk said at the time.
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