Three men who allegedly duped people by creating fake profiles of Facebook users, including a top bureaucrat of the Uttar Pradesh government, have been apprehended, officials said on Saturday.
The three was arrested from Govardhan area in Mathura district on Friday by the UP Police's Special Task Force (STF), the officials said.
Additional Superintendent of Police, STF, Vishal Vikram Singh said the agency had received inputs regarding cyber criminals creating fake profiles of Facebook users who used its messenger service to dupe people of their money.
"These cons created fake profiles or hacked Facebook profiles. Then they would use the messenger service to message the contacts of the user and concoct stories about being in need of money. They would ask the contacts to send money over e-wallets like PhonePe, Google Pay, Paytm or through UPI," Mr Singh said.
Recently, some unidentified cyber criminals had created a fake Facebook profile of RK Tiwari, the chief secretary to the UP government, and tried to dupe his contacts similarly, the STF said in a statement.
The matter was handed over to the STF, which contacted the US-headquartered social media giant and also used electronic surveillance methods to track down the suspects in Govardhan area of Mathura, it said.
The accused have been identified as Sharafat alias Kala, Sukhdeen Khan and a juvenile, and they have been brought to Lucknow, the STF said.
An FIR was lodged against them at the Cyber police station in Lucknow under IPC sections for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy. They have also been charged under provisions of the Information Technology Act, the agency said.