Social media group of cops and e-commerce reps prevents online frauds worth ₹15 crore
A social media group that has nodal officers from e-wallet firms and e-commerce portals, and police officers from across India, has been able to prevent fraudulent transactions amounting to ₹15 crore across the country over the last six months.
The informal group, opened by two cyber police staff from Madhya Pradesh, now has 2,000 members on Telegram. The mission is to stop online frauds and prevent money reaching the fraudsters, all in real time.
A recent example is the quick refund to an online fraud victim from Pune.
A private school teacher has ₹2.5 lakh siphoned from his account after he made an online payment of ₹10, as a token amount towards for an RT-PCR report, prior to his air travel to Ladakh. The above fraud details were put on the group by the Pune cyber cell, after which nodal officers of the e-wallets involved checked their domains, and blocked the transaction. The money was immediately refunded to the victim.
The cyber cell helped a Dhanori-based computer engineer get back ₹1.93 lakh, a businessman from Kothrud received a refund of ₹1.5 lakh and a senior citizen from Bibvewadi got back ₹97,000, all in various cases of cyber fraud.
Pune police have, so far, helped victims recover a total of ₹8 lakh from fraudulent online transactions.
An online financial transaction is made on one of, or all of, four platforms - banks, e-wallets, e-commerce and bill payments.
Nodal officers from all four platforms are on the group, which makes it easy for cyber sleuths to block a payment to a fraudster.
Police inspector Chandrakant Hake, incharge of the Pune cyber police station, said, “The group is indeed very helpful for us to stop payment before it reaches the destination of the fraudster. The group has proved to be a very useful platform for sharing critical fraud-related information and also get results in real time, so that victims are assured that their money is safe. It’s a country-wide group which is effectively run by all the participants for the public good.”
The Maharashtra coordinator of the social media group, speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “This group has served to protect victims from losing money to scammers and results are encouraging. This process works faster based on the basic nature of the complaint, like an email, and later the necessary paperwork can be completed.”