Delhi doctor scammed for ₹4.5 cr in city's ‘biggest’ cyber fraud
The fraudulent scheme reportedly unfolded through deceptive Skype calls, in which the victim was coerced into believing that she had committed a grave offence.
In what can be termed as one of the “biggest” cyber frauds ever recorded in the national capital, a woman doctor has fallen victim to a scam amounting to ₹4.5 crore. According to police officials cited by ANI, the fraudsters impersonated officials from multiple entities. The fraudulent scheme reportedly unfolded through deceptive Skype calls, in which the victim was coerced into believing that she had committed a grave offence, leading to threats of imprisonment.
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The Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police has registered a case following a complaint of cybercrime lodged by a 34-year-old individual identified as Poonam Rajput, according to an official statement given on Saturday.
According to the victim's complaint, several individuals impersonating officials from various authorities, including Mumbai's Andheri Police Station, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), customs department, Narcotics Control Bureau, and even a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), were involved in the fraudulent scheme.
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Based on the victim's allegations, the police have registered a case under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 420, 468, 471, 389, 170, and 120 B.
How did this cyber fraud begin and proceed?
The series of events unfolded when the victim received a call informing her that her package, sent via FedEx, had been confiscated due to the discovery of 140 grams of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), along with her passport, banking documents, and shoes. The deceitful caller claimed that the parcel had been dispatched on April 21 from Mumbai to Taiwan.
The woman received her initial contact from the cybercrime investigators on May 5, as confirmed by the police.
The fraudsters proceeded to manipulate the woman into believing that she needed to liquidate her fixed deposits for seizure and verification purposes.
The police said that the victim's Know Your Customer (KYC) information had been compromised, which subsequently allowed the cyber gang to create 23 fraudulent accounts using the compromised details. Some of these accounts were implicated in money laundering activities.
The victim was deceived into believing that the seized amount needed to be transferred to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for verification purposes, as it was suspected to be proceeds from criminal activities. The fraudsters assured the victim that once the verification was complete, the amount would be returned to her.
To strengthen the scam, the perpetrators sent a letter purportedly from the RBI and even included a complaint on the official letterhead of the Mumbai Police.
"Despite ongoing efforts, the Delhi Police officials are still in the process of tracing the Skype calls and identifying those responsible for this network," the officials added.
(With ANI inputs)