A 24-year-old businessman from south Mumbai could have been robbed of Rs 47.64 lakh by cyber criminals, if not for the timely intervention by the Mumbai police and Interpol, who froze the criminals’ bank account in London before the money was withdrawn.
According to the DB Marg police, the criminals hacked into the email account of the businessman Niraj Angara – who runs a pipe export-import business – and got information about a Chinese firm he deals with. They found out Angara had recently imported pipes worth $99,813.35 from the firm, and paid 15% of the amount to the firm. Angara was to pay the rest soon.
On January 21, Angara received a mail from an email ID the criminals had created. The ID was similar to the one the Chinese firm used.
“The fraudsters sent an email to Angara, and made it appear like it was sent by an executive of the company. The email told Angara the company had changed their bank account for business transactions, as auditing work was going on. They shared the details of another bank account for Angara to make the payment to,” said an officer from the DB Marg police station, requesting anonymity. Angara transferred $77,192 (Rs 47.64lakh) to the new account.
It was only on January 28, when the firm called up Angara about the pending payment, did he find out he had been duped. The firm’s executives told Angara they had not sent him an email about the bank account changing. Angara then approached the DB Marg police and the cyber police station.
The probe revealed the account to which the money was transferred is based in London, after which Angara registered an online complaint with the police in London. A copy of this complaint was sent to Interpol, which then froze the account. Initial investigations show the fraud email was generated in Nigeria.