66 D Punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource
Whoever, by means of any communication device or computer resource cheats by personation, shall be punished with
- imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to
three years and
- shall also be liable to fine which may extend to one lakh rupees
This section deals with impersonation i.e. when one person claims to be another person thereby causing some act to be done, which would have otherwise not been done.
This section is analogous to section 416 of the Indian Penal Code 1860.
416. Cheating by personation – A person is said to “cheat by personation” if he cheats by pretending to be some other person, or by knowingly substituting one person for another, or representing that he or any other person is a person other than he or such other person really is.
Explanation-The offence is committed whether the individual personated is a real or imaginary person.
(a) A cheats by pretending to be a certain rich banker of the same name. A cheats by personating.
(b) A cheats by pretending to be B, a person who is deceased. A cheats by personation
An employee sends an email to a client, claiming to be the CEO and informs the client that future payments need to be made into the employee’s personal account.
A common example of this is Phishing and Email Fraud, by using spoofed emails. This section does not prosecute for the offence of sending of the email or impersonation by unauthorized access. Hence, if a person “hacks” or uses the password of an email account and sends mail from that email account using the stolen credentials, section 66 C will apply and he will be guilty of identity theft. In phishing and email spoofing, the login credentials or password is not stolen to compromised, instead the Email only claims that the mail originates from a different person or at a different time or from a different place.