Cybercrooks taking advantage of COVID crisis

Man duped of ₹40,000 in the name of an ICU bed

April 24, 2021 08:50 pm | Updated 08:50 pm IST - Hyderabad

Taking advantage of the worsening COVID-19 situation, cybercrooks are defrauding people of their hard-earned money by promising them help with securing Remdesivir, hospital beds, oxygen and plasma.

In a recent case, a person lost ₹40,000 to a cybercrook who asked for money to arrange an ICU bed at a private hospital and after taking the money in advance, switched off his phone.

Many arrests have been made over black marketing of COVID-19 essentials, and yet no arrests have been made against cybercrooks in this regard as no complaints have been made so far.

The Telangana police are asking citizens to come forward with their complaints so that arrests can be made and other unsuspecting victims can be spared from losing their money to the same crooks operating online.

Police have urged people to lodge a complaint with them if anyone takes money, assuring to give a COVID resource like Remdesivir, but do not give it. In the past few days, several cyber tricksters floated numbers on the internet and various social media platforms assuring they will supply the antiviral in ‘black’ at a high price, took some money in advance and didn’t take calls or switch off their phones.

“As of now, no such cases were brought to our notice,” Cyber Crime police of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda Commissionerates told The Hindu .

In the last few weeks, Telangana police arrested over a dozen people in Hyderabad, Karimnagar and other districts, who were selling Remdesivir in the grey market.

On Thursday, a man approached Jeedimetla police of Cyberabad stating that he was duped of ₹40,000 by a cyber trickster who promised to provide a bed at a private hospital at Kukatpally.

“When the victim was searching for availability of hospital beds for a COVID-19 patient in his family, he came across a phone number and called it. During their conversation, the cybercrook promised to arrange a bed at Ramdev Baba hospital, and after transferring the money, the phone was switched off,” Cyberabad Cyber Crimes ACP K. Balakrishna Reddy said.

Based on the complaint, a case was registered and police launched an investigation to nab the cybercrook.

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