Police crack AePS-based cybercrime in Nellore, arrest 10 youth

SP advises the public to lock their Aadhaar biometric to avoid falling prey to such crimes

June 27, 2023 07:22 pm | Updated 07:22 pm IST - NELLORE

SPSR Nellore district Superintendent of Police K. Tirumaleswara Reddy presenting the arrested persons before the media in Nellore on Tuesday.

SPSR Nellore district Superintendent of Police K. Tirumaleswara Reddy presenting the arrested persons before the media in Nellore on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Police in the district have unearthed a major financial fraud committed by misusing the Aadhaar-enabled Payment Services (AePS). They arrested 10 youths and recovered ₹51.25 lakh from them.

Addressing the media here on Tuesday, SPSR Nellore district Superintendent of Police K. Tirumaleswara Reddy said that a probe has revealed that the accused had fraudulently operated biometric POS devices to drain the unsuspecting bank customers of the money lying in their bank accounts without the two-factor-authentication.

The victims did not receive any message to the linked mobile phone number from the bank about withdrawing the amount. They were shocked that they were cheated only when they updated their bank accounts much later.

The arrested were N.Venkateswarlu (28), T.Madhusudan Reddy (27), D.Ananda Rao (25), M.Sai Kumar Reddy (24), R.Srinivasulu(24), Sk. Umar (23), Ch. Sunny (21), M. Yuvaraj (20), N. Sudhakar (26) and P. Ravichandra (28).

Nellore Rural Police registered a case against them under IPC sections 420 as also 66 (C) and 66 (D) of the Information Technology Act. The SP said the case would be thoroughly investigated to unearth more persons’ involvement in the racket.

Investigation revealed that cybercriminals used silicone thumbs to operate biometric POS devices. Police seized two computers, 12 smart mobile phones and other gadgets used to run the scam.

The SP underscored the need for locking the Aadhaar biometric using a mobile-based application. Aadhaar biometrics should be unlocked only when necessary, he said.

Bank customers should also check the balance in their bank accounts from time to time, the SP said. The victims should lodge a complaint by calling 1930 or by browsing the national cybercrime portal https://cybercrime.gov.in.

AePS is a bank-led payment mode which allows online financial transactions at Point-of-Sale (PoS) and Micro ATMs through the business correspondent of any bank using Aadhaar authentication. It allows fund transfers using only the bank name, Aadhaar number, and fingerprint captured during Aadhaar enrolment.

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