Legal Implications of Fake Profiles and How to spot one

Nitish ChandanCyber Security, Law4 Comments

“Hey, how many friends you got on Facebook?” “Umm. 2000, maybe?” “Fakes in there?”
“What? I dont know, who cares?”
Start caring dear friends! Numbers released from Facebook suggest that 83 million facebook accounts are fake.
“So what?”
These facebook accounts may be human or bots, popularly known as socialbots that keep creating fake accounts and many researcherers are on the hunt to track them down. They spread spam and viruses or dupe users to steal their data or very recently, to lure people into some modelling sham and then ultimately to get them trafficked or robbed. When you might be vulnerable, you never know. The best deal is to stay away from these profiles and don’t ever create one yourself. We’ll deal with two things here: Legal Implications of Creating a fake profile in India and How to spot a fake profile:
How to spot a fake profile:
Your best shot is to run a google search for the image, most of the busts are made using this simple reverse engineering technique. Other means are to be investigative and stalk the wall, photos, friends and behavior on the id. If you notice a fake id, be sure to report it.
Legal Implications:
Just Identity Theft:
If you ever face a situation where your identity has been stolen, could be your photograph used on a social media network and by your name, you can always remember that Section 66C of the IT Act is the saviour. If the authority you reach out to does not know this, make sure you know these little bits. This section attracts 3 years of imprisonment. Section 66C gives you the protection from forging of “electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature”.
Includes Cheating:
Section 468 of the IPC and Section 66D of the IT Act will be used in this case and punishment under Section 468 can be upto 7 years. Now consider the scenario that you are the CEO of xyz company and someone creates a profile in your name and offers a job for some consideration to anyone. If you find this out you will go to the Police and get your FIR registered under these two sections. And people thinking to cheat someone using this, its 7 years folks. Now cheating has a very wide scope and it’s just not financial.
For the students of law let me clarify Section 468 here:
“Whoever commits forgery, intending that the a[document or electronic record forged] shall be used for the purpose of cheating…”, here electronic records is defined under Section 2(1)(t) of the IT Act which reads “data, record or data generated, image or sound”. So this is going to include even voice biometrics or stuff like that along with just images.
Defamation has been done:
Nothing corelating identity theft and defamation is mentioned in the IT Act but independently,
Sections 66E, 67, 67A of the IT Act can be used for obscene content and for claiming defamation  and here the punishment can be as high as 5-7  years also. Section 66A as you know is also dead.
Section 499 and 500 of the IPC clearly talk about defamation and the punishment is 2 years. However, if forgery has been done then Section 469 of the IPC can also be invoked which can raise the bar of punishment to 3 years.

Fake Profile

4 Comments on “Legal Implications of Fake Profiles and How to spot one”

  1. dear sir

    After months of research i have found your valuable website - and want to thank you for creating such helpful website

    my story

    1. there was a massive student protest offline and online against a govt board and its chairman which takes examination for government jobs in 2017-2018

    2. in the later stage of protest (50 days later) i have changed the name and photo of my Facebook id to that chairman photo and his name and posted some memes and post calming how corrupt the system is and jobs are not given by exams but by back door entry

    3. he filled and FIR in special cell, delhi under IPC 469 , IPC 170 , IT act 66d

    4. police came in 2021 in my house giving 41a notice and i could not even imagined this to happened so in fear i plead guilty and accepted in writing that i created that id and plz forgive me.

    5. later i realised that i created some other id of gmail but police my mistake had made me write and Gmail id which which doest not exit

    6. but also i have written that i have verified this fb account by my mobile number by which they came to my house.

    7. now soon police will file charge sheet

    according to my own research i found that

    1.ipc 170 – in that account i clearly mention (unofficial account) and there is a judgement Calcutta High Court

    Biswanath Mukherjee vs The State on 5 December, 1966

    mere assumption of false character without any attempt to do an official act is not sufficient to bring the offender within the meaning of Section 170″

    2. ipc 469- i have not done forgery , even i had posted some memes but they cannot prove its created by me …bec i have downloaded it from facebook and posted

    3. IT act 66d – the main ingredient should be cheating and fraudulent transaction both are missing

    Smt. Amrita Choudhary vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 26 October, 2015

    again involves fraudulent or dishonest intend which is missing in the present case, as
    such offence under section 66-C of the Information Technology Act is also not made out
    Affixing scanned signatures to the copies of the documents, which were subsequently
    signed by the concerned person, does not tantamount to cheating by personation as
    envisaged under section 66-D of the Information Technology Act
    66-D of the Information Technology Act. Thus, the elements constituting the offence
    under section66-D of the Information Technology Act are also not disclosed prima facie

    i have not done any fraud….nothing plz help me sir i am very sad and depressed

    tell me what do u think which offences i made in the eyes of law and how can i get out of it

    * outcome of the student protest is

    1. cbi arrested 3 people from the board because there was a scam in real

    2. supreme court of india has mention in his judgement that its a tainted result and cancel that exam

    so it means my allegation was not wrong

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