Conmen operating from an undisclosed location created a fake Facebook account using the profile of a senior IPS officer in Tamil Nadu and tried to lure his followers into a trap by offering an “attractive” investment plan, police sources said on Friday.

After seeing messages coming from an account displaying the photo and profile of Additional Director-General of Police (Crime against Women and Children) M. Ravi, some of his followers responded to the idea of the investment scheme. Acting on an alert, the official intervened and cautioned his followers from making any payment and lodged a complaint with the Chennai Police.

After registering a case under the provisions of the Information Technology Act and Section 420 (Cheating) of IPC, investigators tracked one of the suspects to Rajasthan. The bank details given by the suspects are being verified with the bank authorities. The fake account was blocked, the sources said.

Mr. Ravi wrote on his Facebook page appealing to his followers not to pay money or share passwords online with any agency. Cautioning them against clicking on any link claiming to have updated information on COVID-19, he asked them to ignore messages that offer attractive investment plans and thoroughly verify claims that might appear to be from known contacts that they were in distress and urgently need money.

“Followers of the senior police officer got messages on Facebook messenger about the finance scheme and some believed that it came from him. The suspects shared the bank details for online transfer and some even initiated the process of transferring about ₹42,000. The suspects assured them of a ₹4-lakh return on the investment,” a police official said.

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