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Haryana Police unearth Rs 100-cr pan-India cyber fraud
After the coordinated raids on cybercriminals in Nuh district recently, Haryana Police unearthed pan-India cyber frauds to the tune of Rs 100 crore, officials said on Wednesday.
People from various parts of the country including Haryana, Delhi and UP have been targeted by these fraudsters. With their arrests, about 28,000 cases of cyber fraud have been traced across the country, Superintendent of Police (Nuh) Varun Singla said.
On the intervening night of April 27-28, 102 teams of 5,000 policemen simultaneously raided 14 villages in the district and around 125 suspected hackers were detained. Out of these, 66 accused were identified and arrested, the officials said.
During the raids, 166 fake Aadhaar cards, five PAN cards, 128 ATM cards, 66 mobile phones, 99 SIM cards, five POS machines and three laptops were recovered, they said.
Interrogation of the cybercriminals apprehended was carried out with the help of cyber experts. The mobile phones and SIM cards seized during the raid were also technically examined and relevant details were also sought from banks, National Payments Corporation of India, UPI intermediaries, UIDAI, Department of Telecommunications, social media platforms Facebook, WhatsApp etc, a police statement said.
The assistance of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs was also sought to provide the linkages of the fake bank accounts, SIM cards, mobile phones etc. used by these scammers with the cybercrime complaints received nationwide.
“During the analysis, it was discovered that the cybercriminals have so far defrauded around 28,000 people from 35 states and union territories across the country to the tune of more than Rs 100 crore,” Singla said.
Already 1,346 FIRs have been registered against these cyber fraudsters across the country. The details of these criminals are being sent to concerned senior police authorities of these states to take action against these cybercriminals, he said The investigation also revealed information about 219 accounts of private and public sector banks and 140 UPI accounts which were being used for committing cyber frauds, he said.
These bank accounts were mainly found to be activated online by defrauding people on the pretext of providing a job and then taking the credentials of their Aadhaar Card, PAN card, and mobile number and getting an online KYC done, the officer said.
Apart from this, 347 SIM cards activated from Haryana, West Bengal, Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, North East, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka circles of telecom companies have also been unearthed which were being used by these scammers for cybercrime.
During the investigation, the source of the fake SIMs and bank accounts has been found to be mainly linked to district Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, he said.
Singla said that in 16 cases registered in Nuh district, 250 wanted cyber criminals working as co-accused to the scammers apprehended have also been identified, out of which 20 are from Rajasthan, 19 from Uttar Pradesh and 211 from Haryana.
The cybercriminals, who are in the age bracket of 18-35 years, have disclosed that they normally used to work in a group of 3-4 people, he said.
The cybercriminals mainly used Common Service Centres for cash withdrawal while some others used ATMs installed in different villages for the same.
Singla said that these fraudsters used to commit the fraud by luring the victims with attractive offers of sale on products like bikes, cars, mobile phones etc. by posting advertisements on Facebook or OLX.
The unsuspecting victim then called the fraudster on the given mobile number and the scammer cheated the victim on the pretext of courier charges, transportation of product etc but the product never got delivered, he said.
These fraudsters also used to post advertisements on social media platforms offering work-from-home opportunities, mainly related to packaging of pencils, promising an earning of Rs 30,000 per month and duping people on the pretext of registration fees, packing materials, courier charges etc.
The cybercriminals were also duping victims through sextortion by creating fake profiles on social media platforms and luring the victims to come on a video call where they carry out screen recordings of the victims in compromising positions and then extort huge sums of money from them, Singla said. PTI
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