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Ramakanta Biswas

Cyber fraudsters continue to dupe citizens of their hard-earned money and even the men in Khaki are not immune to the rising menace. 
In the latest instance, the Additional DG of the Crime Branch, Sanjeev Panda escaped by a whisker from falling victim to cyber fraud. 

The fraudster who made on attempt to cheat Panda is said to be the third wanted accused involved in the high-profile case of hacking of the WhatsApp account of Manoj Kumar Pattnaik, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC). 

According to sources, the accused reportedly impersonated as an acquaintance of the ADG and chatted with him over WhatsApp. Later, the accused requested Panda to send Rs 98,000 in two bank accounts citing health emergency. 

After the forgery came to light, the Crime Branch has blocked both the accounts and launched a probe.

According to preliminary investigation, the two bank accounts mentioned by the fraudster are from Gujurat and Tripura. The mobile numbers and email IDs associated with the accounts are being verified. 

“If anyone is seeking money from you using WhatsApp, you should first talk to him/her to verify the identity of the caller before making the payment. Secondly, do not share OTP (one time password) with anyone,” Panda said. 

“Enable two-step verification feature in your WhatsApp to keep yourself safe from hacking,” he added. 

Notably, the WhatsApp account of OCAC CEO who also holds the charge of Additional Secretary of the State Electronics and Information Technology (E&IT) Department was hacked. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the case so far.

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