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Mumbai Police's cyber cell discovers new trend of cyber fraud

Updated on: 29 January,2024 05:54 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan |

Creating Telegram accounts in name of police stations to threaten and extract money

Mumbai Police's cyber cell discovers new trend of cyber fraud

Fraudsters use Telegram accounts to impersonate cops, extort money

The cyber cell of Mumbai Police has identified a new trend in cyber fraud. Cyber crooks are creating Telegram channels in the names of various police stations. They call people, impersonating a cop in uniform inside a police station, implicating them in false cases to cause panic and extract money.

A case was registered recently at Marine Drive police station by a 70-year-old businessman who was duped of Rs 3.5 lakh by cyber crooks using a similar trick. According to the FIR, the businessman received a call from an unknown number, and the caller claimed to be an officer from Lucknow customs. He informed the businessman that a parcel containing clothes, a laptop, 20 passports, and 150 gm of mephedrone had been received by Lucknow customs from Mayannar, sent by someone named John David. “The unknown caller instructed me to come to Gomti Nagar police station in Lucknow immediately, but I refused to go since I hadn't ordered any such parcel. They then transferred my call to an officer claiming to be from the Gomti Nagar police station,” the complainant stated.

According to the complaint, another person who spoke to him on the call identified himself as Dinesh Kumar. He claimed to be a police officer from Gomti Nagar police station and asked the complainant to come there to record his statement. The complainant refused to go as he hadn't ordered any such parcel. The person on the call tried to convince him that he was an officer and just wanted to record his statement. To win his confidence, he suggested recording the statement through a Telegram video call and asked the complainant to download the Telegram app. “I downloaded the app and received a video call on Telegram ID Lucknow Police, Gomti Nagar Police Station. In the video, I saw a police officer in uniform, but the call disconnected within a second,” the statement reads further.

After the video call, the scammers began recording the complainant's statement on Telegram and informed him that R38 crore of money laundering had taken place in his name. They accused the complainant of receiving 10 per cent of the amount and said that the CBI was investigating the matter. They even showed him a fake letter from the CBI during the video call and threatened that he would be arrested in the case and imprisoned for at least 3-4 years.

After frightening the complainant, the scammers obtained his account number and later instructed him to transfer Rs 3.5 lakh to one of their accounts. They then sent him a fake Notarised Supervision Acknowledgment, claiming it was an anticipatory bail from arrest in the CBI case. Meanwhile, the businessman informed his family about the incident and subsequently approached the Marine Drive police to file a complaint. A case of cheating, forgery, and violation of the IT Act has been registered.

“Multiple cases of customs fraud have been reported, and several arrests have been made. Due to increased awareness, the number of such incidents is reducing. However, in some new cases, a new modus operandi of cyber crooks is being observed, where victims are initially taken into confidence and then duped,” said an officer from the Mumbai cyber cell.

Rs 3.5L
Amount victim lost to cyber crooks

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