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Social Media Scam Queen Arrested: HR Manager Falls Prey To African Cyber Thugs Based In India

NOIDA: The police in Noida, Uttar Pradesh on Thursday said they have arrested two Nigerian nationals in connection with a cyber fraud of Rs 8.39 lakh with a woman working as an HR Manager in a private firm. 

The HR Manager claimed she was approached by an unidentified foreign-based man on social media in June after which they befriended each other. 

Noida Cyber Cell officials said one of the accused is a 27-year-old man from Nigeria and the other is his 26-year-old woman partner from Senegal and were arrested from their rented accommodation in Greater Noida. 

Modus Operandi

Explaining the method of the fraud, the Cyber Cell officials said the accused man had befriended the complainant over social media under a fake identity, saying he was based abroad.

He had used a fake name and profile picture to interact with her and gain her confidence.

READ MORE: How Kashmir Cyber Police Busted Nigerian Gang For Business Scam On Facebook

The accused then told the complainant that he had sent her gifts and foreign currency and shared forged courier receipts with her in order to establish authenticity of his acts, according to the police.

Subsequently, his woman partner would call up the complainant, identifying herself as a customs department official.

She would tell the complainant that her parcel with gifts and foreign currency is stuck with the department and would be released after she clears fees for it.

ALSO READ: How This Nigerian Scammer Conned IT Head Of Rs 88 Lakh, Arrested By UP Cyber Police

The woman would eventually threaten the complainant of implicating her in money laundering and tax fraud case to make her cough up the money.

Money Laundering Link

According to the officials, the accused duo got the money transferred into a bank account and withdrew it immediately to fund their luxurious lifestyle

While they were based in Greater Noida they also sent a part of the fraudulently earned money to their families back home in Nigeria and Senegal.

Charges Invoked

While it is yet to be confirmed if the duo has duped more than one person, their arrest came on the basis of the complaint lodged by the HR Manager based in Noida.

The FIR in the case was registered at the Cyber Cell police station in Noida Sector 36 and filed under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 467, 468 471 (all related to forgery), 388 (extortion), 120B (criminal comspiracy). 

ALSO READ: WhatsApp Hijacking: Don’t Dial These Special Codes Or Hackers Might Take Control Over Your WhatsApp To Steal Money

It has also been learnt that the accused had allegedly assaulted the police team which had gone to arrest them and have been booked under relevant sections of the law. 

Message For People From The Case

According to law enforcement officials, this is not a unique methodology of fraud done over the internet and definitely not the first case.

Similar incidents of people, especially women, being duped by fraudsters over social media in a similar fashion have come to light in the past also. 

ALSO READ: Gifting Scam: Three Nigerians Arrested From Delhi For Duping Pune Woman Of Rs 3.98 Cr

Keeping this in view, the agencies and officials have urged the general public to be cautious during online activities on social media including interactions with strangers.

They have also asked the public to be especially cautious during financial transactions online in order to avoid hassles.

The officials have urged the general public to report cases of cyber crime immediately on the dedicated helpline number 1930 or 112 in case of any problem for assistance.

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