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Miscreants impersonating Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla held in Odisha

Miscreants created a fake Whatsapp account in the name of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and were seeking money from MPs. File PTI | Photo Credit: PTI

Unknown miscreants impersonating Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla have been reaching out to Members of Parliament (MPs) asking for money. The Odisha Police has reportedly arrested three persons in connection with the scam.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, Mr. Birla said, “Some miscreants have created fake account in my name with profile photo & sending messages to MPs & others from nos. 7862092008, 9480918183 & 9439073870. Matter has been reported to authorities concerned. Plz ignore calls/messages from these & other numbers & inform my office.” 

The Speaker’s office shared a press release from the Odisha Police about arrest of three-persons in the State. Two persons, Sai Prakash Das (38), propertior of Sky Arts a shop dealing in sim cards and his employee, Avinash Nayak (32), were arrested along with one Dushmant Kumar Sahu (23) to whom they sold the sim for mobile number 9439073870, which is one of the three numbers that the Speaker shared in his Tweet flagging the misuse.

As per the police statement, they were using these pre-activated mobile numbers to open accounts in online shopping applications and gaming websites. Accused Dushmant used activate the SIM in mobile handsets and shared the OTP received in his phone with the “Buyer Seller of OTP” a group on Facebook. In return he used to get instant payment from the group. The money was also shared with the other two.

On April 23, Mr. Naidu’s office had issued a statement cautioning the public about a similar scam using his name and photograph. 

Recently, Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Kerala Assembly Speaker M.B. Rajesh were also similarly targeted.

“A person impersonating as Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu, is sending WhatsApp message soliciting help and financial assistance from the mobile telephone number 9439073183,” the statement said. The issue came to light when the impersonator sent out the message to MPs and Ministers. The Vice-President’s Secretariat has informed the Home Ministry about the development. 

Recently, Mr. Rajesh too had fallen victim to such a scam. The impersonator put up the Kerala Speaker’s photograph as the display picture and sent out messages to many Kerala MLAs and former Ministers asking them to save his “new number”. Once the targeted person responded, the impersonator started asking for money. The Kerala Police are investigating the case. 


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Printable version | May 5, 2022 6:53:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/impersonating-lok-sabha-speaker-om-birla-miscreants-ask-for-money-from-mps/article65383793.ece