The issue of the misuse of technology for criminal purposes is back in the spotlight after Mahatma Phule Chowk Police arrested an event management professional for allegedly making obscene video calls using international virtual number software.
Originally designed for businesses that need to make a large number of calls daily for sales and marketing purposes, the international virtual number software generates random mobile numbers that flash on the recipient’s caller ID. The idea behind the technology was for business owners to avoid revealing their personal numbers, but, as with any technology, cybercriminals quickly realized its value and began using it to hide their identities while committing crimes. .
According to police officials, the victim filed a complaint with them on December 29 last year. In his statement, the victim said that he received obscene messages and video calls from several unknown numbers starting on December 12, and that the attacker covered the camera to hide his face during the video calls. The police registered a case against unknown persons and started to investigate based on all the numbers from which the victim received the calls and messages.
“We realized that the accused was using virtual international number software in order to hide his identity. Therefore, we enlisted the assistance of Cyber Cell Thane and, using technical investigative methods, identified the cellular and internet service provider whose services were being used by the accused. We contacted both service providers and requested details of the Internet Protocol (IP) address the accused was using,” said Senior Police Inspector Ashok Honmane, from Mahatma Phule Chowk Police Station.
Using this information, the police identified the accused as Gurdeepsingh Khalsa (27), a resident of Ulhasnagar Camp No. 5. The accused was arrested at his home on December 30 and, during questioning, allegedly confessed to having committed the crime.
“The accused works in the events sector. He shoots videos with various female models and uploads them to his YouTube channel. The accused said he approached the victim when he wanted to shoot a fashion video with her. But, she had refused, which had made him angry. Therefore, he started making obscene calls and sending obscene messages to her,” Honmane said.
Khalsa was placed under arrest and accused of outraging a woman’s modesty. He was presented to court and remanded in custody until January 2. Police are investigating whether he has targeted other women in the past.