Two from Delhi allegedly involved in online fraud involving Rs.9.46 lakh
Nigerian fraud meant involvement of Nigerians, directly or indirectly. Not anymore.
The case of a gang of Indians recently defrauding a woman from Hyderabad is an example of how local people took cue from Nigerians and began using the modus operandi for eponymous fraud.
When Padmavathi lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime officials of Cyberabad a fortnight ago claiming that she had lost Rs.9.46 lakh online hoping to receive a huge lottery sum, the investigators believed it was yet another case of a Nigerian fraud.
Investigations progressed and when the police zeroed in on those allegedly responsible, they were surprised to know that no Nigerian was involved in the cheating case which fell into the category of ‘Nigerian frauds’.
The two persons allegedly responsible for the cheating were two Delhiites, Sobhit Kumar and Amar.
“It is now clear that Nigerians are no more involved in Nigerian Frauds. Local people are using the modus operandi to make money quickly,” an investigator opined.
Interrogation of Sobhit Kumar and Amar revealed that they had used their knowledge in methods of banking transactions and Internet to commit the ‘Nigerian fraud’. Kumar would open accounts in different banks by presenting fictitious documents and get credit and debit cards.
It was important to have cards of different banks so that they could direct their prospective victims to transfer money online into these accounts. Amar would access the databases containing mobile phone numbers and e-mail ids of the victims.
He would send thousands of messages to mobile phone numbers congratulating the phone owners for winning huge sums in foreign lotteries.
“They cleverly used popular names to lead their victims to believe that the lottery prize was genuine. In the current instance, they described the lottery as ICC Cricket Award 2012 UK,” the investigators said.
To win the confidence of the phone owners who responded, they spoke in Hindi and gave the e-mail id firstname.lastname@example.org as their contact address. Names of bank accounts into which the fraudsters asked the victims to transfer money on various pretexts too were Indian.
The victims wouldn’t suspect any foul play as the account holders appeared genuine with Indian names.
Though the gang has been busted finally, with some of its members still absconding, investigators are apprehensive about many unsuspecting netizens who might fall prey to such tactics.