Madhya Pradesh police have busted a major phishing racket based out of Niwadi district on the state’s border adjoining Uttar Pradesh.
“Sukhi Sevaniya police and cybercrime branch in a joint operation busted this cyber-crime racket and arrested four members of the gang operating from bordering area of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh,” Sai Krishna, the Superintendent of Police Bhopal (South) said.
A police probe revealed that many youth from village Astari in Niwadi district in the recent past got engaged in lottery and online draw, abandoning studies and the odd jobs they had.
It was a gruelling seven-month probe which helped police bust this cyber fraud racket. The police had taken up the probe after Sukhi Sevaniya resident Md Parvez (17) had lodged a complaint with police alleging he was victimised by online frauds who swindled Rs 38,000 from him while promising him a lottery.
The man had saved the sum for her sister’s marriage. He had received a call of winning online lottery of Rs 3.90 lakh and on being asked by the caller, he deposited Rs 38,000 in two banks. But the caller then asked for Rs 6,000 more and he turned suspicious.
Chopdakalan resident Md Parvez had complained to cyber police around seven months ago. After preliminary probe the matter was handed over to Sukhi Sevaniya police for further action on February 7.
The police then lodged a case against unknown accused and landed at Niwadi with the help of cybercrime experts. The police team from Bhopal arrested Vinod Ahirwar, Arvind Prajapati and Ankit Ahirwar from Gorkhas and Raghvendra Yadav from Astari.
The accused revealed to police that they made huge sums through online fraud, and mobile phones, sim cards, ATM card, micro ATM and a thumb impression machine, were recovered from them.
One of them is a second year graduation drop out while others pursued their education till class X and XII.
The accused told the police that they learnt about online fraud around five years ago from TV and internet with Arvind taking the lead and others joined in later. Not only in Madhya Pradesh, they made calls and cheated naive people across the country by promising huge sums under online lottery and lucky draw.
The accused procured online data of their victims and make calls with the promise of lottery and lucky draw and then made their unsuspecting victims deposit different sums in various bank accounts on the pretext of various charges and taxes.
If they suspected that the victim was not willing to pay amount, they destroyed the sim card and started looking for other victims.
The accused had divided tasks including making calls to victims, withdrawing cash from ATMs, arranging sims and transferring money online and handling cash and taking care of the gang’s safety.
The gang meticulously procured sim cards on fake documents and also sourced data from like-minded gangs operating in neighbouring UP.