LAHORE: Initially, seven doctors mustered up the courage to speak up about certain unidentified people blackmailing them through stolen social media and mobile phone data. Now, more women doctors and medical students have come up with complaints about being blackmailed by some unidentified people.
Dr Salman Kazmi, a complainant in the case, says over 200 women were targeted and harassed. Of them, he says he told the police, 50 had either been deprived of money or blackmailed in other way.
The Gawalmandi police lodged on Wednesday a first information report under section 25-D of the Telegraph Act and 506 and 385 of the Pakistan Penal Code against unidentified people for harassing medical students and doctors of government teaching hospitals of Lahore.
Majority of victims from five hospitals
Dr Kazmi said a majority of the victims are from Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, and Social Security Hospital.
He says the suspect had sent photoshopped work and other personal information of a doctor to her in-laws after she refused to accept his demands.
He said the suspect trapped a doctor of Mayo Hospital and met her at a fast food outlet. There, the doctor managed to take his picture by her mobile phone and shared it with her male colleagues to pass it on to law enforcement agencies.
“The identity of the cheater has been established,” Dr Kazmi said. The 25-year-old suspect is a resident of Toba Tek Singh. His other credentials like national identity card, passport, cell phone record and family background have been obtained by the officials of a sensitive agency.
He said the suspect had transferred phone balance to a doctor from a particular shop. That was a vital lead to trace the suspect.
Gawalmandi sub-inspector Abdul Majeed told Dawn the caller would use a SIM registered in the name of a woman of Muzaffargarh.
He said after collecting evidence, they would arrest the suspect who had gone underground.
Dr Usman, a relative of a victim doctor, said the suspect used to get access to Facebook and Whatsapp accounts of the targets by sending them a special code through a software.
As soon as the recipients accepted the code, data was transferred from the recipient’s phone to the suspect’s system.
An official of the cyber-crime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency said the complaints of social media accounts hacking had been surfacing all over the world. He said it would be premature to say anything in this particular case without analysing technology the cheater used.
Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015