Be wary of 'officers' who demand money

Published: Nov 16, 2018, 05:51 IST | mid-day correspondent | Mumbai

These are not activists but extortionists. The minute you give in to the first attempt to extort or blackmail, you are paving the way for further intimidation. That is the pattern of the extortionist, so it is important not to cave in

Beware the blackmailer and the extortionist. This paper carried a report about a man who cheated people posing as a CBI officer with an associate. After a woman complained, cops arrested the accused for extorting R50 lakh and a car from her and her husband. The couple was introduced to the main accused and the sham associate in an office.

The supposed CBI fraud officer started blackmailing the couple saying that he had some complaint against the wife's work. Scared at what would happen, the couple gave him an Innova car and the money to settle the matter. Then the conmen got too greedy and asked for another car. Suspicions aroused, the couple contacted the police after which the conmen were caught. If you are threatened by a so-called officer, you need to approach the police.

A real officer has no business to hold you to ransom or blackmail you. These are actions of an extortionist not an officer, the line has to be very clear. If you have the slightest doubt or suspicion you are well within your rights to ask for identification and get it checked with a responsible agency. We have so many reports about conmen pretending to be in positions of power, duping people of their money by using threats and blackmail.

A little scepticism and questioning can puncture those claims, and save people from falling prey to these charlatans. A classic case, of course, is how the Right to Information (RTI) tool has been twisted and used by extortionists to coerce, using blackmail as a base. These are not activists but extortionists. The minute you give in to the first attempt to extort or blackmail, you are paving the way for further intimidation. That is the pattern of the extortionist, so it is important not to cave in.

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