Lockdown For COVID-19 Pandemic Helps Cyber Frauds Prosper Enormously


The Coronavirus pandemic that is still in force is pushing the physical world to go digital that makes a fantastic treat for the cyber criminals causing cyber frauds. Several people are falling prey to these cyber threat actors due to lack of awareness in using the e-commerce platforms, utilising the unsafe payment gateways and accepting anonymous friend requests on the various social media platforms.

One of such complaint on an online scam of Rs 5,085 has led the Cybercrime authorities to the dark web where they have busted a prime criminal racket that involved the sale of the debit card information of people for as low as $10 owing to cyber frauds. The incident had received broad daylight when Nilesh Vaghela (47 years old) of the Ranip resident received a message that his bank account had been debited with Rs 5,085 back in May. Nilesh, who had not received an OTP (One Time Password) for the same debit card transaction and approached the Cyber Cell. The investigation has finally led to the arrest of two Bhavnagar residents – a 21-year-old tenth standard dropout named Riyaz Mahida and 20-years-old Rahul Gohil. Another minor was also identified to be a part of the scam.

Ajay Tomar, Special Commissioner, says that those who play PUBG and other similar games purchase chips via the Unknown Cash, which is one of the cyber frauds regarding the acquisition of UC. The three of the accused had bought stolen credit card information of people from the dark web websites (a part of the dark network behind the clearnet consisting of uncountable illegal websites and exists on an encrypted network). They had used it to purchase the chips that were worth Rs 5,000 in order to play online games. Then they would resell those chips for somewhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 3,500.

Image: Interpol, Cork Safety Alerts

Furthermore, he added that the darknet is enormous and offers the services and products that are mainly illicit. He says that they are trying to ascertain how the debit card details are made available on the dark web.

Online Friends Commit Extortion and Blackmail Through Cyber Frauds

In a different incident, an Amdavadi youth, who supposedly befriended people online in the hope that they might help him visit Canada, was conned of Rs 1.1 lakh. The victim came in touch with three residents of Ahmedabad – Ruhan Sheikh (26-years-old), Saif Qureshi (23-years-old) and Ahankhan Pathan (25-years-old). The defendants gained the trust of the victim and called him to meet in an isolated place. The three alleged people had bashed him, stripped him naked and then made a video of it.

The alleged had threatened the victim to make his video viral if he refuses to pay off their demands. The youth had withdrawn Rs 30,000 via the ATM and transferred the rest of the amount which is Rs 80,000 through a UPI. The police have successfully arrested the accused who are reportedly drug addicts and cyber frauds, as stated by the victim in his complaint. Ajay Tomar also mentioned that the citizens need to be observant while conducting online chats and also must not meet anyone, especially online friends in any unknown or isolated places.

A Trap For Free

In this incident, a 35-year-old tailor from Kheda was caught for conning people on the pretence of offering them a sewing machine free of cost. The accused named Shailesh Prajapati who has received education till the tenth standard got in touch with a resident of Ahmedabad thrown a known messaging platform and promised to send a free sewing machine under a prime minister’s scheme. He had carried out a transaction and convinced the victim to share his One Time Password (OTP) and finally withdrew Rs 20,500 from his account.

Franchise Fraudulence

A Sardarnagar resident named Nankaram Vardhani, 27-years-old has lost around Rs 1 lakh soon after he has registered himself on the website of a trendy brand for snacks and sweets for his own franchise. He had received a call by someone disguising him as Devrajkumar Singh who has worked for the brand and has asked the victim to pay Rs 99,999 in the bid to secure his franchise. When the victim has received no communication after the intimation, he realised that he had been duped of the amount and has filed a complaint with the Sardarnagar Police under cyber frauds case.

Image: Bush Center

Kalupur Bizman Con Case

Ankit Sharma, who is of 31 years age, owns a shop based on readymade clothes sale in Kalupur. He had applied for a loan of Rs 3 lakh on various websites and had also received a phone call from an unknown person claiming to be from a reputed finance firm. Sharma had cleared payments of around Rs 1.8 lakhs owing to various charges before he realised that he had been conned.

Scanning “QR” Code Without Proper Verification Could Be Fatal

Thirty years old Dhruv Kumar Baru, a professional doctor in the neuro department of the civil hospital, lives with his father who owns a Surat-based transport business. Baru had received a call from a person who claimed to be from the Indian Army. He claimed that his father had directed the unknown caller to deposit Rs 10,000 in Baru’s account. He told Baru that he had sent a QR code to him and he needs to scan it so that the stated amount can be transferred to his account. When Baru did as directed, he was scammed of Rs 20,000 from his account resulting in cyber frauds.

Source: Ahmedabad Mirror

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