NOIDA: The Cyber Crime Police of Uttar Pradesh arrested a Nigerian national claiming him to be a part of a wider ring that defrauds Indian companies by pretending to be representatives of a UK-based organisation in need of herbal seeds.
The gang deceived an IT professional into purchasing herbal seeds by falsely claiming that they will receive a large commission. The accused Nigerian national was identified as Maurice Sliver living in Delhi was arrested by Noida cyber police on Wednesday.
HERBAL SEED SCAM
The Nigerian con artists have revamped their business module. They are no longer using lottery and charity phishing emails as bait in India, instead of duping people under the guise of working with MNCs, investing in herbal seed businesses, and channelling foreign money. The modus-operandi of these Nigerian gangs has shifted dramatically.
Watch: Triveni Singh Explains Latest Modus-Operandi By Nigerian Cyber Criminal
Scammers use social networking sites like Facebook to entice unsuspecting victims. They then impersonate ambassadors or MNC executives or women officer of a big corporation in order to persuade their victims to invest in a worldwide endeavour that does not exist.
According to the police, multiple cyber gangs are operating a fraud to obtain seeds with medical properties that can heal ailments such as cancer.
“There is no predetermined plot. The gang traps the victim based on his or her profile. The victim is solicited online as a representative of a foreign pharmaceutical company trying to source herbal seeds from local farmers through an agent in the herbal seeds scam. They offer the victim a large profit if they pay the agent for the seeds upfront. They then vanish with the money “said Prof Triveni Singh, superintendent of police, Cyber Crime, Uttar Pradesh police.
The latest victim was the head of an IT company in Noida, who is a resident of Ghaziabad. He was contacted by the Nigerian gang on Facebook and then lured to become a partner in selling herbal seeds in India.
“The gang members communicate using their international phone number or via WhatsApp. It’s impossible to tell that the gang is a sham because they sound so professional. He received a seed sample and was in frequent contact with a company executive. He couldn’t detect any foul play because the trap was so well-executed,” Singh told The420.in.
During the investigation, it was discovered that all of the phone numbers used for communication had been taken under false identities. Similarly, bank accounts used to park the money was also taken on rent by the criminals by paying commission to the real account holder.
According to police, the gangs have devised a new strategy in which they masquerade as diplomats or MNC executives and collaborate with local kids who assist them with logistics.
According to the authorities, with criminals’ new tendency, more and more educated people are falling into their trap.
“The number of such Nigerian frauds has increased, owing mostly to people’s greed for quick money. It is heartbreaking to see educated individuals fall victim to such deception. Despite our public awareness campaign concerning similar scams, “Singh stated.
He explained that gangs use virtual number generators to produce any number on their phone, giving the receiver the idea that he is receiving a call from a foreign country.
To avoid being apprehended by the police, the group prefers to communicate via WhatsApp calls. “We have received multiple reports regarding Nigerian frauds across India and are tracking a couple of such gangs,” Singh added.
Police are now scanning the bank account and other accomplices of the accused. Cops are also trying to verify the number of people cheated by him. Initial, investigation reveals that he came to India in 2015 on a Medical Tourism visa. A communication with Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) and the embassy to verify his documents and background.
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