Indian soldier duped by fake social media account
NEW DELHI: An Indian soldier was duped by a fake social media account allegedly operated by a female and released sensitive information, CNN reported.
Sombir Singh, 22, was stationed near the India-Pakistan border when he struck up an intimate online relationship with an account he believed to be operated by an Indian army medical officer. Over the course of a year, the soldier revealed sensitive information, including troop and tank movements to his fake lover. “He was honey-trapped via Facebook from a lady,” Umesh Mishra, additional director general of police (intelligence) for the Rajasthan Police, told CNN.
The pair shared erotic and intimate messages, as well as explicit photographs, according to officials. The account, which still appears to be active, was created under the name Anika Chopra. The profile picture shows a woman wearing a green sari. The low-ranking soldier had received money via his brother’s account from his online lover, Rajesh Meena, superintendent of police, State Special Branch, Rajasthan Police, said while speaking to CNN.
“She started getting confidential information about the army in lieu of which he received money,” Mishra said. Singh was arrested Friday and, if convicted, faces up to three years in prison under the country’s Official Secrets Act.
Mishra said the Indian army was monitoring the online activities of soldiers, and that this surveillance had raised the red flag in the case of Singh. “We have seized his mobile (phone) and his digital footprints are being investigated,” said Mishra.
The Indian army is battling a widespread outbreak of ‘catfishing’, army chief Bipin Rawat had said last week. Rawat said that ‘a lot of people’ had fallen victim to the online scams. Warnings against suspicious profiles had been issued to army personnel, he added.