Fraudsters hack don's e-mail

The ID of Dr Ramachandra Bhatta, Professor and Head of the Department of Fisheries Economics at the College of Fisheries, was hacked during the first week of October.

Most of his acquaintances on e-mail have received a mail, which read: “It is me Dr Ramachandra Bhatta and this email is coming directly from me from Edinburgh. I’m really sorry I didn’t inform you about my traveling to Scotland for a seminar. I got myself in serious mess here. I got my wallet misplaced on my way to the hotel. My money, cards, diary, phones and other vital documents are all in the wallet. In fact, I have nothing on me right now to identify myself but I have just reported the case to the police. I have just managed to talk to the hotel attendance and they allowed me access only to the internet and that is why I’m sending you this e-mail so that you could at least help me out with any amount you could afford. I need 1800 USD to sort myself out here but I will appreciate any amount you could afford. I will pay you back as soon as I get back home.”

The email goes on to read: The hotel managers said you can just get the money send to me at any nearest Western Union outlet with the details- Name : Ramachandra Bhatta;
Address: 8 Flat 4 Porteous pend, Edinburgh, EH1, 2HP, Scotland, UK.

“As soon as you make the payment, just send me the details below from the Western Union receipt issued to you from the Western Union outlet mentioning the sender name; sender country; MTCN[10digits number],” it adds.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Bhatta said that he once responded to an e-mail asking for his ID, stating that google is cleaning off all unused IDs. “I think that was the blunder I did,” states Dr Bhatta ruling out possibilities of any of his acquaintances playing this prank. He thinks it was either a coincidence or a planned, deliberate action that the e-mail was sent when Dr Bhatta was in his native place, where there is no mobile and land line connectivity.

“Many of my friends thought I was actually in a mess because I was not accessible to them when they called me on my cell phone. But then they took it easy after speaking to my family in Mangalore,” Dr Bhatta adds. However, his son restored the ID by changing the password. Dr Bhatta informed that he was depressed and also shocked by the incident, but did not file a complaint with the police primarily because he was not clear and aware if there was a system in place to handle cyber crime and next because he did not want to run from pillar to post. With people not recognising how the hackers are intruding into their rights and privacy, public awareness is necessary as to what to do when their rights and privacy are violated in cyber space.


Cyber crime unit

As the port city wades its way to become a ‘digital jungle,’ the rate of cyber crime cases are also on the rise. Superintendent of Police Dr Subramanyeshwar Rao informed that though there is no separate cyber crime unit in Mangalore, complaint can be filed at any local police stations. If the complaint is not entertained there, the victim can directly report to the SP of the district.

He informed that while some cases are taken up by some of the trained police personnel, some cases may be transferred to Cyber Crime branch in Bangalore, if needed. Dr Rao informed that the registration of cases with regard to cyber crime is close to nil and in the last 8 months not even a single case has been filed despite the increased misuse of cyber space. He accords the low registration of cases to lack of awareness.

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