Vikash Sharma

Rourkela: It seems fraudsters have devised a new strategy to dupe people by creating fake Facebook accounts in the name of celebrities, MLAs and senior government officials. This was evident when Sundergarh Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan took to social media on Friday to mention that an unidentified miscreant has been fraudulently demanding money from people by misusing his identity with a fake Facebook account.

In a Facebook post, the IAS officer issued a clarification in this regard and wrote, “It seems someone made a fake profile of mine and trying to sell stuff. As per the info I got. Pl don’t fall for it. I’m attaching the link below so that you can unfriend and report too.”

As per reports, Kalyan learned of the fake Facebook ID after screenshots of the conversation of the miscreant seeking favours from various people surfaced on social media platforms.

Sources said through the fake Facebook account, the miscreant tried to extort mobile phones and other expensive items from several people and shop owners.

Sharing screenshots, Kalyan wrote, "Seems that someone already tried to misuse the profile for favours! Request everyone especially from Sundargarh, Rourkela and all other places, not to entertain any favours, monetary or otherwise. I don't ask and will never ask. Its against my conscience."

Speaking to OTV, Kalyan said, “One of my friends informed me about this. It is not a case of hacking rather someone has created a Facebook account in my name. We have already blocked the account and steps will be taken to trace the accused.”

"A lot of officials are trying to remain active on social media so that better services could be provided to everyone. But people also should be aware of various cyber crimes so that they do not get cheated," Kalyan added.