This is how a gang robbed Rs 20 Crore from 800 Indians using this method!
With the help of several state police departments, the Union Home Ministry uncovered a massive online scam.
Details Of The Fraud
The “Fraud-to-Phone” racket linked the theft of Rs 20 crore over 6-12 months from 800 victims, perpetrated by 8 primary individuals in cahoots with hundreds more who are being surveilled or have already been rounded up.
Using the stolen money, the perpetrators bought smartphones to sell on the black-market.
The racket which was taken down by FCORD spanned 18 states and Union Territories. FCORD is a department of the Home Ministry which primarily deals with fake currency, frauds, terrorism financing irrgularity and more.
The Main Accused
Hukum Singh Bisen of Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat and Sanjay Mahto of Jharkhand’s Deogarh are the brains behind the fraud. Bisen dreamed of joining the Indian Civil Services and worked as an engineer on the Indian Railways.
Mahto would call the phishing victims and eventually get to know their OTP, credit card details, phone numbers and addresses.
The perpetrators are accused of black market transactions, tax evasion, money laundering, and dealing with illegal property.
CyberSafe To The Rescue
In order to break the racket, authorities have used the CyberSafe portal which logs a dubious mobile number as soon as the victim reports it.
First reported by a 78-year-old Udaipur resident who claimed he lost Rs 6.5 lakh online on June 11 through FCORD’s CyberSafe app, the case revolves around the theft of the funds.
The CyberSafe app involves police and the cyber cell from over 3,000 law enforcement agencies spread across 19 states.with up to date database of 99,418 records with details about fraudsters such as their mobile numbers and bank account numbers. On the portal, it is possible to verify the authenticity of a suspicious phone number. Afterward, the information is stored in the portal, and fund flows are identified and communicated.
The Cyber Safe Portal is available here
The Way It Happened
When the Udaipur resident lodged his complaint, it was found that the funds stolen from him were then transferred to 3 SBI debit cards.
From there, the scammers purchased 33 high-end Xiaomi POCO M3 smartphones from Flipkart.
Their addresses in Balaghat were promptly informed of to Balaghat’s Police Superintendent.
The key individuals were then detained by the police.
The handsets and other items seized from Bisen in Balaghat are those that were used in the scam.
They purchased high-end smartphones since they are constantly in pursuit, are in demand, and can only be purchased online
They bought the mobiles for Rs 10,000 each and offered them in the black market at 5-10% discount.
Despite the price reduction, the crooks made a good profit as the mobiles were purchased in bulk during online deals.
As a result of raids by police, 900 more Mobile phones were found purchased through 1,000 bank accounts as well as hundreds of UPI and e-commerce IDs. So far, 100 bank accounts, debit and credit cards have been frozen.
As of now 65,000 phone frauds have been identified along with 55,000 phone numbers and several thousand bank accounts belonging to fraudsters.
Currently, the total loot consists of 1,004 illegally obtained bank accounts and 900 cell phones.