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Punjab

Online job fraud racket: Punjab Police's cyber crime division arrests four cyber fraudsters from Assam

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | February 22, 2024 05:33 PM

CHANDIGARH: Amidst the ongoing drive to make Punjab a safe and secure state as per the vision of Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann, the Cyber Crime Division of the Punjab Police has busted an International Online Job Fraud Racket with the arrest of four cyber criminals from different districts of Assam, said Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav here on Thursday.

The modus operandi used by this gang was to lure innocent persons into trap by offering lucrative “Work from Home” jobs through a Telegram mobile app’s group.

“To gain trust, fraudsters would initially give small tasks to the victim, in return, paying a small amount of money in lieu of accomplishing the task. Later, the victim was asked to deposit money on different pretexts in lure of a bigger return, ” said the DGP, while adding that with these arrests the Punjab Police has dug up another trail, leading to deep-rooted cyber fraud nexus spread across the country.

Those arrested have been identified as Jahirul Islam, Rafiual Islam, Mehabub Alam and Azizur Rehman. Police teams have also recovered two swipe machines, two biometric scanners, one eye scanner, one fingerprint scanner, 38 pan cards, 32 debit/credit cards, 16 sim cards, 10 voter cards, nine Aadhar cards, 10 bank account passbooks/chequebooks, five official Government stamps, five mobile phones, one laptop, two pen drives and one SBI ID card from their possession.

ADGP Cyber Crime V Neeraja said that following a complaint from a woman— who was duped of Rs 25 lakhs by the fraudsters, a Cyber Crime team under SI Jujhar Singh Janjua and SI Davinder Kashni conducted investigation into the case and found that the gang was running their operation from the districts of Assam, she said.

During the operation, the accused Jahirul Islam and Rafiual Islam were arrested from Nagaon district of Assam, who revealed that they were running a Customer Services Point (CSP) for providing online services, and to make quick bucks they misused the documents of general public for making duplicate PAN Cards, Voter Cards, Aadhaar Cards using Adobe Photoshop software, which they further used for opening Bank Accounts and obtain SIM Cards on the directions of another accused Mehabub Alam.

The ADGP said that thereafter, Mehabub Alam was arrested from Guwahati district, who revealed that he came into contact with Azizur Rehman, who asked him to provide bank accounts on a commission basis. Police teams have also arrested accused Azizur Rehman from Morigaon district of Assam.

Sharing more details, DIG Cyber Crime Nilambari Jagadale said that investigations have revealed that till now 160 victims from across 23 states have been found to be defrauded and further investigation is likely to result in identification of more victims.

Preliminary investigations have also suggested that the main kingpins, who are operating this fraud racket from overseas, were receiving money in cryptocurrency, she said, while adding that further investigations is being conducted by DSP Cybercrime, Prabhjot Kaur and more arrests are expected.

A case FIR no. 29 dated 13/10/2023 had been registered under sections 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at State Cyber Crime in SAS Nagar.

BOX: BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS

• Avoid Telegram groups luring into easy money like ‘Work from Home’

• Never make online payment to anyone in lure of bigger return

• Avoid clicking on links or downloading files from unknown sources

• Never share Debit/Credit Card or Bank details on any application

• Never click on links offering discounts and prizes

• Use unique password for each account and change it frequently

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