Hyderabad: In a case of phone spoofing , YSRCP Chief and leader of the opposition, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy‘s personal secretary- KNR’s official cell phone number was compromised by cyber criminals. Misusing his number the cyber criminals resorted to making extortion and threatening calls to senior YSRCP leaders, MLAs, ex MLAs, senior party officials, convenors of different constituencies and other party members in the state.
They were making calls in the name of YS Jagan, imitating his voice and indulging in WhatsApp chats with senior leaders. Not only were they talking like him, they were also trying to extort money from the leaders claiming that the YSRCP chief was busy in the Padayatra and was not to be disturbed . They were also abusing and issuing warnings to senior leaders of the party through these fake phone calls.
Phone spoofing is when someone disguises the number they are calling or texting from by changing their caller ID through spoofing software applications. This software is available on the internet and the call is usually made through the Internet and not through direct telephony. They can scam the numbers of their choice and also whom they want to call and change the caller ID display as well. Tracing these fake calls is extremely difficult as the original numbers are hidden and the servers are also located in different locations across the globe.
Those who received the calls could see KNR’s number on the display and the criminals would then speak mimicking YS Jagan’s tone indicating that he would get another phone call from someone else. KNRs number is registered under the YSRC Party office name and this number is used for any formal communication between YS Jagan and the senior party members.
If they succeeded in getting through the cyber criminals would engage in extortion and harassment of the leaders. They were also chatting on the WhatsApp though an international number +1(507)407–9047. The caller ID displayed would show MP Poonam Mahajan’s picture and the caller would attempt to impersonate the BJP leader and start chatting . They asked for Rs 10 lakhs to be sent to Visakhapatnam and knowing YS Jagan’s Padaytra schedule, they specifically told the leaders not to call back and disturb him .
Senior YSRCP leaders , Party Joint Secretary A Harshavardhan Reddy and Legal Cell President P Sudhakar Reddy jointly submitted a formal complaint to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar about this.
Sudhakar Reddy said that this was happening over the last 15 days and some people were deliberately indulging in these criminal activities to tarnish YS Jagan’s image in the public eye .Hyderabad Commissioner of Police Anjani Kumar assured the YSRCP leaders that they would track the criminals down at any cost , arrest them and take necessary action.