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Trending WhatsApp alert turns out to be a fraud

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 10:15

Thane: The most trending WhatsApp ‘fraud’ alert in Chennai in the last couple of days is a photograph of a young woman accused of being a fraudster. In fact, the woman is a techie in her 40’s who lives in Thane near Mumbai with her family and has nothing to do with the WhatsApp alert.

“Her brother has registered a complaint with us and we are probing the case,” a Thane cyber crime cell inspector Sanju John told this newspaper on Tuesday. The audio message in Tamil and text message in English, which is being forwarded within WhatsApp groups, says that the woman is a fraudster.  
 
The message accompanying the photograph reads: “This lady is a fraud. She visits your house as a representative of a gas company.
 
She says she has come for checking the gas connection. After some time, she asks to use the wash room. She goes inside and comes out with chloroform in her handkerchief and uses it to make you unconscious. She then runs away with gold and silver ornaments. Beware of this lady!”
 
As the message and photograph were widely circulated in Facebook and WhatsApp, the victim’s brother lodged a complaint with the Thane cyber crime cell last month. 
But obviously, the police could not stop the Whatsapp sharing. “We managed to remove the posts from Facebook. But it is still spreading through WhatsApp,” the Thane police said on Tuesday.
 
The woman has also tried giving a clarification through social networking sites. She says she was introduced to social networking through her kids. “I have started using Whatsapp from late 2013. But this very experience has brought some mental agony in my life. It started a month back when one of my friends called me to tell that my photo is getting circulated with a malicious message. My family lodged a complaint with the Thane police station. The authorities had promised to get to the bottom of the case.”
 
She further says, “This message is not to clear any misunderstanding. This is my right to express my disgust over people who share such messages without even getting the facts checked. I am just standing up for myself and all those ladies who have been through this kind of situation. I request you to share this message for the right reasons.”