Girls beware! Your cell number will be sold out

Girls beware! When you go to recharge your mobile phones, without you being aware, the numbers are being collected and sold to unscrupulous people who will try to exploit you.

Those who are at risk are in their late teens and early twenties. But now the police cyber cell has become aware and investigations are going on.

Recently, the Thiruvananthapuram cyber police arrested Saleesh Kumar, 27, who hails from Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district for making more than 7,000 unsolicited telephone calls and sending 13,000 messages to about 200 women within and outside the state in the last few months.

The cyber police discovered that Saleesh was using a mobile phone issued in the name of a woman.

Officers of the cyber cell have confirmed that there are many gangs in the state who earn huge sums of money by selling the girls’ mobile numbers. They get the help from the workers of mobile recha-rge shops, which operate near colleges and schools.

The employees write down the approximate age of the girls when they come to recharge their phones.

These gangs sell a set of 20 numbers to young men, especially college students, for a large amount of money. “Because of this, many girls get involved with boys and some even run away from home with their boyfriends,” says an officer in the cyber cell.

As per the crime statistics, in 2010, nearly 812 girls had some sort of relationship developed through the mobile phone, while 1012 girls eloped with their boyfriends.

“Recently, I discovered that many young men were calling my daughter’s number and I was shocked to know about it,” says John Chacko (name changed), a parent of a 19-year-old. “She told me she had no idea how these boys got the numbers."

It was only after contacting the Cyber Cell that Mr Chacko learnt that there was a racket selling phone numbers of girls to unscrupulous people and his daughter was one of the victims.

“It is shocking news for girls,” said Sujitha of Kalpetta. “We are recharging accounts from different shops regularly.”

In 2011, the Thiruvananthapuram Cyber cell received 752 complaints for mobile abuse. In 2010 it was 1005 and in 2009 it was 611. In Kozhikode, it is 269 (2009), 414 (2010), 362 (2011).

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