Armand Bajrami, an Albanian journalist who works as court and news reporter, informed on 12 September 2023 he public and the Cybercrime section of the Police Directorate in Tirana, Albania about an alarming case of his personal data being misused by an unauthorized individual.
In a troubling incident, an email sent from the address firstname.lastname@example.org has surfaced, where the sender, claiming to be Armand Bajrami, an A2 CNN – CNN exclusive affiliate (https://a2news.com/) journalist, solicited information from the Internal Control Service of Prisons and the Elbasan Prosecution. However, Bajrami asserts that this email account does not belong to him.
The correspondence via email involved requests for updates on an Elbasan Prosecutor’s Office investigation into a suspected case of abuse within prison in Lushnja / Lushnjë, Albania. Notably, the correct contact number of the journalist was used in the email sent to SHKBB. In a further the email sent to the Elbasan Prosecutor’s Office listed the phone number of Bajrami’s wife, who is a journalist at ABC News (https://abcnews.go.com/). To add to the complexity, a photocopy of Armand Bajrami’s identity card was also attached to these fraudulent communications.
The impostor not only falsely utilized the journalist’s name and personal data but also appropriated the name of A2CNN, the television network where Bajrami is currently employed, along with the network’s accurate address in the email signature.
This incident has raised significant concerns about the misuse of personal information for potentially deceptive purposes and underscores the need for heightened vigilance regarding data security and identity protection.
South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) strongly condemns the incident, where his personal data was misused. This flagrant violation of journalistic integrity and the right to privacy is deeply concerning. SEEMO calls on relevant authorities to swiftly investigate this case, identify the perpetrators responsible for this misuse of personal data, and bring them to justice. We further emphasize the importance of safeguarding the personal information and professional integrity of journalists, which are essential for the functioning of a free and independent media. We stand in solidarity with Mr. Armand Bajrami and urge all media organizations and authorities to remain vigilant in protecting the rights and safety of journalists throughout the region.
South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.
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