Mangaluru: Cyber police on high alert after scam calls to parents

09:04 AM Jun 13, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Mangaluru: In the past two days, cases have been registered at the Mangalore Cyber Police Station regarding fraudulent calls made to the parents of college students in the Mangaluru city and Suratkal areas. The calls, made by individuals impersonating police officers, demanded money from the parents.


Mangaluru Police Commissioner Anupam Agarwal, provided details on the case. On June 11th and 12th, unknown individuals contacted several parents via WhatsApp, falsely claiming that their children had been arrested. The callers demanded immediate payment for their release. Concerned parents, upon inquiring at the schools, discovered that their children were safe. Further investigation revealed that the calls originated from numbers with country codes belonging to Poland and Pakistan.

The Commissioner warned that this is a common tactic used by scammers to extort money. He advised parents to be cautious and not to accept calls from unknown international numbers on WhatsApp. He urged that any such calls should be reported to the nearest police station immediately. Additionally, he emphasized the need for schools and colleges to raise awareness among parents and students about these fraudulent calls.

Data theft suspected

There is speculation that the fraudsters obtained the parents’ mobile numbers from illegal “data base sites.” Such sites operate unlawfully, granting unauthorized access to personal information. It is suspected that cybercriminals may have acquired these databases from examination boards and sold them to other fraudsters. Ananthaprabhu G., a cyber security expert from Mangalore, highlighted the need to investigate the examination boards. Selling personal information is a violation of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, but enforcement of this act is lacking, he noted.


Additional reports of fraudulent calls

On Wednesday, it was reported that two more parents received similar fraudulent calls. One parent was told that a drug case had been filed against their son and was asked for money to secure his release. Another parent was informed that their daughter had been kidnapped and was also asked for money. In both cases, the parents immediately contacted the colleges and confirmed that the calls were fake.

Ongoing investigation

The method by which the fraudsters obtained the parents’ contact numbers remains unclear. The police are actively investigating this aspect of the case.

Precautions for parents

Parents are advised to maintain not only the landline phone number of their child’s educational institution but also the mobile numbers of the class teachers. Cyber security experts and police recommend that in case of any doubts, parents should immediately contact the school or college to verify their child’s safety.


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