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The office of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla confirmed on Wednesday (May 4, 2022) that a false WhatsApp account had been set up in his name, and that the situation had been reported to the appropriate authorities.

"Some criminals have created a bogus account in my name, complete with a profile photo, and have been sending messages to MPs and others from phone numbers 7862092008, 9480918183, and 9439073870. The incident has been reported to the appropriate authorities. Please disregard calls/texts from these and other numbers and notify my office "The Speaker sent out a tweet.

The Odisha Police Department has detained three people in the state for alleged ties to cyber criminals who constructed the bogus Lok Sabha Speaker's WhatsApp alias.

According to legislative sources familiar with the development, the trio had sold the gang pre-activated SIM cards, one of which was used to construct the phoney WhatsApp account by utilising Birla's picture, which was available in the public domain.

A person impersonating Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu sent mails to people, including VIPs, asking for financial assistance last month. After that, his office notified the Ministry of Home Affairs.