A Facebook post shares a message that alerts the users about an elaborate kidnapping scam. According to the message, kidnappers ask people near malls or other places to sniff a paper laced with drugs in the guise of perfume testing and kidnap them once they pass out. According to the post, this scam alert is shared by K.M. Nagaraju, DCP Crime Branch. Let’s fact-check this claim through this article.
Claim: An alert message by K.M. Nagaraju, DCP crime branch, regarding a ‘kidnapping scam using perfumes’.
Fact: There are no credible news reports to prove that the Police had issued such an alert. In 2019, when similar messages went viral on social media, K.M. Nagaraju (DCP, Warangal), mentioned to Bangalore Mirror that this news is false and that he had already filed a complaint. Hence the claim made in the post is False.
We searched the Internet using relevant keywords to know if the Police had issued any such alert message. But the search did not lead us to any credible evidence, except for one article published by The News Minute. According to this article from 2019, a similar message was doing rounds on WhatsApp in Telangana. That message was shared with a claim that ‘over 78 girls are missing in Hyderabad alone and more than 540 ladies are missing past 10 days.‘ The News Minute mentioned that the messages are ‘distorting numbers to make it look like organised crime, causing panic and mass hysteria about women moving in public places.’
But to further check if DCP KM Nagaraju issued such a message, we searched the Internet again, this time with his name; it led us to a report published by Bangalore Mirror in 2019. The article noted that K.M. Nagaraju was indeed a DCP rank police officer who was working in Warangal. He told them the message circulated in his name is fake and that he even filed a complaint about it.
When the same message was circulating on social media in 2018, the Hyderabad City Police published a post on Facebook and labelled it false. This also indicates that the message has been in circulation on the internet for a very long time.
To sum up, this alert message regarding a purported ‘kidnap scam using perfumes’ is false.