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Fake Police Use Raj Kundra Case to Con 73-Year-Old Pune Man Out of Rs 25 Lakh

– 73-year-old Pune man loses Rs 25 lakh to cyber fraudsters posing as police, linked to Raj Kundra case.
– Scammers coerced him into confessing to money laundering charges.



Fake Police Use Raj Kundra Case to Con 73-Year-Old Pune Man Out of Rs 25 Lakh
AI Generated Image: Elderly Pune man recounts his ordeal after losing Rs 25 lakh to cyber fraudsters posing as police officers in a Raj Kundra money laundering scam.

A senior citizen in Pune narrowly escaped a major financial loss after falling victim to a sophisticated cyber fraud. The 73-year-old resident of Wanawadi, who wishes to remain anonymous, lost Rs 25 lakh to online criminals who impersonated police officers and used the ongoing Raj Kundra money laundering case to exploit him.

The Bait: A Suspect in a High-Profile Case

The ordeal began with a phone call. The victim received a call from someone claiming to be an officer from the Uttar Pradesh Police. This individual made a startling accusation: the victim was a suspect in the Raj Kundra money laundering case due to 55 fraudulent messages allegedly sent from his phone number.

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Panicked and confused, the victim was then instructed to contact the Santacruz Police Station in Mumbai to clear his name. Through a video call, he was connected to another person posing as a Santacruz police officer. This fake officer employed scare tactics, threatening the victim with “dire consequences” and subjecting him to a lengthy interrogation.

Confession Under Duress

Under immense pressure, the victim was coerced into revealing personal and financial details. The fraudsters then took it a step further, forcing him to write a confession. This fabricated confession stated that the victim was a “suspect in the Raj Kundra case” solely because of his personal information being misused. The criminals demanded a written statement of his innocence along with a photograph as “proof” for a supposed “priority investigation.”

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Extortion and the Glimmer of Hope

Over the next two days, the nightmare continued. The cybercriminals, now posing as various law enforcement officials, extorted Rs 25 lakh from the victim under the false pretense of a “priority investigation.” They employed a series of manipulative tactics, including threats of legal action through the Supreme Court and a strict order not to contact family members.

Finally, after being pressured for an additional Rs 15 lakh, the victim realized something wasn’t right. He mustered the courage to break free from the web of deceit and approached the Cyber Crime Police Station in Pune to report the entire incident.

Protecting Yourself from Cyber Fraud

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the ever-evolving tactics employed by cybercriminals. The Cyber Crime Police Station in Pune urges citizens to be cautious and follow these steps to stay safe:

  • Verify Caller Identity: Don’t engage in conversations without confirming the caller’s identity.
  • Never Share Personal Information: Personal and financial details should never be shared over the phone.
  • Report Suspicious Calls: If you receive a suspicious call, report it immediately to the authorities.
  • Don’t Transfer Money Based on Phone Calls: Legitimate organizations won’t demand money transfers over the phone.

Evolving Tactics of Cybercriminals

The modus operandi used in this case highlights the creativity of cybercriminals. While the core method of threatening victims with criminal charges remains constant, the specifics keep changing. The Pune Police station has observed a rise in such cyber frauds, with around 60 similar cases reported in January 2024 alone. In 10 of these cases, the losses exceeded a staggering Rs 50 lakh.

Cybercriminals often initiate contact by posing as representatives of courier companies, informing victims of parcels containing illegal items addressed in their names. Alternatively, they might impersonate telecom or police officers claiming the victim’s phone number is being misused. To further legitimize their claims, they might drop names of renowned senior IPS officers to pressure victims into large financial transfers.

ALSO READ: How Using Fake Emails and IDs Scammers Stole Rs 120 Crores From UP’s Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU)

MHA Warns of “Digital Arrests”

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory in May 2024 regarding online blackmail tactics. The advisory highlights the use of “digital arrests,” where victims are coerced into video calls and threatened with severe consequences unless they comply with demands.

Staying Safe Online

By remaining vigilant and following the advice of both the MHA and the Cyber Crime Police Station, citizens can protect themselves from falling prey to such online scams. Remember, if something seems too good (or bad) to be true, it probably is. Always verify information and never hesitate to report suspicious activity to the authorities.

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