NEW DELHI: The Cyber Crime Unit (CyPAD) of Delhi Police has arrested 14 cybercriminals from Jharkhand’s infamous Deoghar-Jamtara-Giridh-Jamui belt after conducting multiple raids over the last seven days. The action was part of the operation Cyber Prahar–II launched against cybercrime hotspots in the Jamtara region.
According to the police, several complaints of cyber fraud were being received on the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal against cybercriminals. Police said while examining these complaints it was found that cybercriminals used multiple modus-operandi to cheat people.
In most of the case, they impersonate bank employees, inducing unsuspecting people to download remote access Apps. Cybercriminals also create fake websites of popular e-commerce platforms and making them visible to potential victims using Google Ads and Search Engine Optimization, inducing them to download malware disguised as Banking Apps. In another trick, they impersonate government officials managing welfare schemes, and fraudulently inducing victims to make UPI transactions in the belief of getting welfare benefits.
HOW THE CRACKDOWN BEGIN
Anyesh Roy, Deputy Commissioner Of Police, Cyber Crime Unit (CyPAD) said the initial investigation threw up the name of two persons who were identified as the brains behind this particular module. They were identified as one Ghulam Ansari, from Jamtara and Altaf Ansari from Deoghar.
It was found that Ghulam Ansari, along with his associates had come to Loni, Ghaziabad and was camping together at a location, which was probably another associate’s place. A raid was conducted by the team in Loni from where Ghulam Ansari was arrested. Later his other associates were also arrested and all the connected devices were recovered and seized.
Meanwhile, the CyPAD team trailed and caught Altaf after a high-speed chase. His other associates were arrested and their devices were seized.
NEW GANG UNEARTHED
Anyesh Roy explained that during this arrest, another module was identified which was operating from the Jamui region of the Jamtara belt. This module was using an improvised Modus Operandi to con people. They contacted Anganwadi workers of the area after obtaining their details online and after pretending to be health officials. They took details of pregnant and lactating women from them. Then, contacted these women and told them that they will be receiving a link for the receipt of Rs. 5,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana. But instead of crediting, large sums of money got debited from their accounts on clicking on the link.
With the help of local intelligence four accused persons, including the mastermind, were arrested.
Those arrested have been identified as Ghulam Ansari, Altaf Ansari, Sarfuddin Mohammad, Sainul Ansari, Ghulam Mustafa, Aftab Alam, Rafiq Alam, Azad Miyan, Sohail Ansari, Furkan Ansari, Ashok Verma, Sanjay Verma, Abhishek Verma and Raju Sharma.
HOW CRIMINALS FROM FOREST ARE MAKING CRORE
Ghulam Ansari, a school drop-out, used to work as a construction worker in Hyderabad, installing glass panes on windows. Almost two years back, he returned to his native village and got in touch with unscrupulous elements already engaged in cyber-crime. From them, he learnt the tricks of the trade and in a short time, acquired such skill of designing fake websites and running online campaigns through Google Ads and Search Engine Optimization, that he quickly came to be recognized as ‘Masterji’ in a belief that he is the ‘best in the business’ and whoever he chooses to be his ‘disciple’ would become one of the richest in the entire region.
Altaf Ansari is popularly referred to as the ‘Rockstar’ of cyber-crime in the region. He was a disciple of Ghulam and now a full-fledged partner in crime. He is believed to be so skilled at conning people, that he is frequently approached by ‘aspiring cyber-criminals’ from the entire region for ‘coaching lessons.’
In less than two years, Altaf alone has managed to dupe people from across the country of around Rs 10 Crores. From this cheated money, he has built a huge mansion in his native village, has another bungalow under construction and has purchased a brand-new Scorpio Car, which has now been seized.
The gang was contacting 40-50 persons per day of which 3-4 fall prey to their ruse every day. They have been working in a large group from secret hideouts outside the villages. The locations from which these calls to victims are made are deliberately chosen in such a way that they can keep an eye on any movements around. In case any attempt is made to apprehend them, they quickly get rid of their devices in the nearby forests, swamps, rivers, etc and disappear in the jungle.
VICTIMS SPREAD ACROSS THE COUNTRY
DCP Anyesh Roy said using the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal Delhi police have identified 36 complaints linked to the accused from victims of various states like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and Delhi. The cheated amounts in these complaints range from a few thousand rupees to a maximum of Rs 12 lakhs.
Police said many complaints are received against such cybercriminals where people have lost their hard-earned money. In one of such complainants a Delhi doctor, while looking for the customer care number of IDFC Bank online, she came across the fake website created by these cybercriminals and they managed to induce her to install a remote access App, and subsequently transferred Rs 10 lakhs out of her account fraudulently.
Due to prompt action, Rs 8 lakhs of defrauded money was blocked and returned to her immediately, however, she did suffer a loss of Rs. 2 lakhs. FIR was registered and the investigation was taken up of this case, along with several others.
The team involved in the crackdown was formed under the supervision of ACP/CyPAD, Aditya Gautam and it included Insp. Parveen, Insp. Vijender, SI Avdesh, SI Sunil, SI Harjit, HC Neeraj Pandey, HC Lalit, HC Satish, and others.
Safety Advisory to Citizens:
- Always treat unsolicited callers/emails/SMSes with suspicion.
- Never share credit/debit card details with anyone claiming to be bank official or customer care executive.
- Never enter card details in online form sent by the caller. Your credentials might be stolen.
- Do not download remote access Apps as fraudster will get access to all your messages and emails.
- Never click on links in Phishing messages/emails appearing to come from government organizations, officials, banks, etc. They install malware/ spyware on your device.
- Never enter your UPI PIN for receiving money from a QR Code or Payment Link
- Be cautious while scanning a QR code sent for receiving payment. You will end up losing money from your account.
- Be careful of fake customer care numbers appearing in web search.
- Use two-factor authentication (Password + OTP) for all online accounts.