Mumbai Police set to remove senior officers’ phone numbers from website

The Mumbai Police is set to remove the phone numbers of senior police officers from its website after a few cases were reported in which these numbers were misused to deceive people.

An officer said it would be a temporary measure at first and eventually a call would be taken to see if the numbers should be available on the website again. Last month, the photograph of Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar was misused by cybercriminals, who used it as a display image. The accused demanded money by impersonating the commissioner from other police officers.

“Cybercriminals can use agent phone numbers available online to trick people. As a precaution, we have decided to remove the numbers from the website,” a senior officer said. “Once the defendants implicated in such cases are arrested, a decision will be made whether or not to put the numbers back in place,” the officer added.

Apart from Phansalkar, the photo of Joint Commissioner of Police (Economic Crimes Wing) Praveen Padwal has also been used by scammers to demand money from others.

In both cases, the scammer sent a message that read, “There is something I need you to do for me urgently as I am currently attending a very crucial meeting with limited phone calls? There are leads listed that I’m introducing them to today. I can’t do it myself because of the meetings and I don’t have any of my cards with me. How fast can you organize these gift cards as I have to send them in less than an hour. I will provide you with the type of gift cards and the amount of each. I’ll pay you back before the end of the day.

In addition, the contact details of a DCP-ranking officer in Mumbai were used to obtain details from another officer in Amravati. An FIR was also registered in the case.

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