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Cyber Frauds Use IPS Officer’s Identity For Extortion

| Updated: April 17, 2024 12:17

Cyber frauds have taken hold of an IPS officer’s identity to leverage his name and image and intimidate people by threatening to embroil them in fictitious legal cases.
Manish Shankar Sharma, an IPS officer of the MP cadre, has been honoured with a day named after him in San Diego in the US. Sharma is an officer who has received several honours in India and abroad. He was awarded medals from the Govt of India, the United Nations Peace Medal, and recognition from the US, Bosnia and Herzegovina governments. His photographs in uniform are easily available on the internet.
The modus operandi of the crooks involves calling people and falsely claiming that their child has been kidnapped or involved in a crime.
Some parents, alarmed by these calls, end up paying ransom or settling the fabricated cases.
To appear authentic, these fraudsters use images of real police officers, with Sharma, an additional DGP from the 1992 cadre in Madhya Pradesh, being a preferred choice. There have been multiple incidents where Sharma’s photograph was uploaded as the profile picture of the WhatsApp number used to make the fraud calls.
A homemaker and a businessman from Ahmedabad as well as two professors from Kheda and Anand received ransom calls through numbers that had Sharma’s photograph as profile picture.
The fraudsters reportedly use Nepal and Pak numbers to call the victims.
Sharma said, “I am aware that some fraudsters have been using my image to cheat people. In the past, these fraudsters have used photographs of other DGPs and senior officers to commit frauds. This case is being investigated by Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat police.”
Throughout his career, Sharma has received numerous awards, including
San Diego’s recognition of “Manish Sharma Day” on July 20, 2020, celebrates the officer’s efforts in enhancing Indo-US relations and aiding several countries in preparing strategies to tackle terrorism and civil unrest.
He is also the recipient of other rare honours, including “The Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” from the US House of Representatives and the prestigious “National Law Day Award 2016” from the former President of India.

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