Fraud Alert: Job Offer Dupes CA, a Gang Honey-trapping People Arrested
When it comes to cyber crimes, we often consider poor or less educated people more susceptible to fraud. However, highly educated people or professionals are more likely to fall prey to fraudsters. This week, we will see how a chartered accountant (CA) lost about Rs13 lakh in a job fraud and how police finally managed to catch a gang that was honey-trapping people under the guise of police officials and legal officials of YouTube.
 
Beware of Fraud Biometric Transactions
 
Telangana state police have come out with a suggestion to disable the biometric link from Aadhaar if the holder has lost money in an aadhaar enabled payment system (AEPS) fraud. It also asked people not to share Aadhaar details with anyone and to be aware of fraudulent transactions carried out using fake biometrics.
 
 
What the Telangana police are advising is to lock the biometric to keep it safe from misuse. However, remember, once the biometrics are locked, you cannot use them again for authentication unless you unlock it. (Read: Aadhaar: Here is How You Can Lock or Unlock Your Biometrics)
 
Earlier this month, a gang of people, registered as common service centres (CSCs) for e-governance services through municipalities and villages in the Gwalior district, was arrested. The gang siphoned Rs5 lakh from the accounts of 23 people using AEPS, which allows money withdrawal from a bank account through a local business correspondent. 
 
Cloning of fingerprints is very easy; several video tutorials are readily available online and Moneylife Foundation even demonstrated it at a webinar in October 2016! (Read: Fraud Alert: Sextortion; Loan App Traps and Aadhaar Fingerprint Cloning)
 
G-Pay Transaction Helped in Arrest of a Murderer
 
One of the most significant advantages or disadvantages of digital or online transactions is the user leaves a trail at all touching points. For example, while visiting any website, you would be leaving some information like your IP address or your identity. Researchers from KU Leuven, Radboud University, and the University of Lausanne found that 1,844 websites from European Union (EU) and 2,950 portals from the US collect users' email IDs without consent. Last year, these researchers also found 52 websites where third parties were collecting password data before submission. 
 
Goa police, however, used the digital trail to arrest a criminal, who had murdered a woman. Pernem police say the accused, Ganesh Virnodkar, had checked into a guesthouse along with the woman. While checking in, he did not submit any ID but paid the bill through G-Pay. 
 
After killing the lady, Ganesh Virnodkar fled from the place. However, using his G-pay account trails, police arrested him from Banda in Maharashtra. 
 
When Honey-trapping Gang Poses as Police
 
Delhi police arrested a gang based in Mewat that was impersonating crime branch sleuths and legal officials of YouTube to extort money from people. The gang was extorting the money under the pretext of lodging police complaints about obscene videos of victims and uploading them on YouTube.
 
During interrogation, it was revealed that several youths from Mudiya village in Bharatpur district created fake Facebook profiles of girls and contacted victims on WhatsApp after exchanging mobile numbers via Facebook messenger.
 
The gang would make a video call through WhatsApp where a pre-recorded video of a lady doing an obscene act would be played. After recording the video call, the gang used to accuse the person of indulging in indecent acts. Later, by posing as officials from the crime branch and YouTube, the gang used to blackmail and extort money from the victims. 
 
Police found Rs26 lakh credited and then instantly debited from the account of one Asib Khan. He was traced by police through money trails and using technical surveillance and analysis of the mobile phone numbers linked to various mobile wallets.
 
CA Loses Rs13 Lakh in Job Scam
 
A CA from Mumbai was called for a job interview. At the designated location, he met a person who claimed to be from the national academy of banking and finance. Soon the CA received a call from a senior official from the academy, who, under the guise of discussing something vital, asked the CA to hand over his mobile to the other person.
 
However, while speaking on the phone with the senior official for the 'urgent business', the other person walked away from the location with the mobile phone of the CA.
 
When the CA went to an ATM, he found Rs2.84 lakh deducted from his two bank accounts. Later, he found the fraudsters had also used his credit card to transfer Rs9.97 lakh to a payment wallet. 
 
According to a report from Times of India (ToI), the fraudsters were trying to transmit the money to a catering service in Ghaziabad. 
 
"We contacted the payment gateway and cancelled the transaction. This money has been restored to the complainant's credit card. Our team is working on the case, and further probe is underway," senior inspector Pradip Khude told the newspaper.
 
So far, police have recovered more than Rs10.8 lakh stolen from the CA’s bank accounts and credit card.
 
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