BENGALURU: A high-ranking executive at Infosys fell victim to a cunning cybercrime scheme, losing a staggering Rs 3.7 crore to imposters posing as officials from various Indian regulatory bodies.
The ordeal, unfolding over a tense few days, illustrates the ever-evolving tactics of cybercriminals to exploit individuals by leveraging fear and authority.
The Deceptive Tactics Unveiled
The executive, based in Whitefield, received an alarming call on November 21, allegedly from a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) representative.
The imposter claimed a criminal case was pending against the executive at Vakola police station in Mumbai.
As the deceit unfolded, the fraudster escalated the threat by mentioning a money laundering case linked to the victim’s Aadhaar card details.
Engulfed in panic, the victim was coerced over the next 48 hours to transfer an exorbitant sum of Rs 3.7 crore from his personal account to multiple bank accounts, following threats of imminent arrest.
The perpetrators masqueraded as TRAI, Mumbai police, and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials, wielding fabricated documents and a staged video call from what appeared to be a police station, all meticulously designed to intimidate and extort.
Law Enforcement Response and Insights
Promptly filing a complaint, the Cyber Crime Police initiated legal proceedings under the Information Technology Act and relevant IPC sections.
As the magnitude of financial loss crossed the Rs 3 crore mark, the case was earmarked for transfer to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Authorities swiftly engaged with banking institutions to freeze the miscreants’ accounts, aiming to curtail further illicit activities.
Law enforcement officials emphasized the recurrent exploitation of TRAI and courier service facades by cybercriminals, preying on unsuspecting individuals.
They advised potential targets to promptly alert the police or seek legal counsel upon receiving such threatening calls, deterring the fraudsters and buying time for rational consideration.
Real-Time Monitoring: Shield Against Cyber Threats
The alarming rise in such sophisticated scams underscores the critical need for real-time monitoring and vigilance. Individuals and corporations alike must bolster their defenses against evolving cyber threats. Utilizing robust monitoring systems can serve as a proactive shield, instantly detecting suspicious activities and alerting users to potential threats.
Case Studies Reinforce Vigilance
Cases like this are not isolated incidents. Earlier instances have shown how cybercriminals exploit fear and authority for illicit gains. In 2021, a similar ruse was employed against unsuspecting victims, masquerading as law enforcement officials in the United States. They coerced individuals into transferring significant sums under the guise of resolving fabricated legal issues.
The chilling modus operandi of cybercriminals demands heightened awareness and preemptive measures. Real-time monitoring emerges as an indispensable tool, offering a robust defense mechanism against such deceitful ploys. Empowering individuals and organizations with knowledge, vigilance, and technological fortification remains the cornerstone in the battle against cybercrime.