Don't fall for the extortion call. The crime branch arrested a man earlier this week, for allegedly trying to extort money from a Malad developer by posing as an officer of the Pune Crime Branch.

The report stated that he used to call up the powerful and wealthy, demanding money while posing as a senior police officer from the ATS, crime branch or NIA. In the latest case, he demanded R5 lakh from a victim for some 'crime', threatening him with police action.

It is shocking to see how gullible people are, if this conman has managed to dupe more than 40 people into parting with money. First of all, people must remember that extortion is always illegal, even when it comes from a real police officer, because he is simply asking for a bribe.

Wise up, and stand up to these fraudsters. Do not succumb to threats of police action. You cannot pay anybody to avoid threats of action.

Whether the caller is a bonafide cop or a fake, you are giving in to blackmail. The cardinal rule of extortion is that once the blackmailer has tasted blood, he will not stop pursuing the victim. Once you give in to their demands, the extortionists will have you in their grip, and will not hesitate to squeeze you for more.

The only solution is to report the extortion call to the police, never mind the consequences. Most likely, the extortionist will be scared off - like most bullies, their courage fails them as soon as somebody dares to stand up to them.

See through the bogus claims, stare them down, or talk them down and see that action is taken against them. Call their bluff; if they're threatening to 'expose' you, the right thing to do is to expose them instead.