The Cyber cell of Delhi police has arrested five people from different parts of the country for allegedly abusing and extorting innocent people on the pretext of repaying the loan amount. The accused have been identified as Sonu Singh, Vikash Kumar, Harpreet Singh, Pankaj Kumar and Jitender Kumar.
The police investigation revealed that the accused used to send the cheated money to China via cryptocurrency. The matter came to light when a complaint was filed by a resident of West Bengal in which the victim alleged that his family and friends were being abused and threatened by some unknown persons through some international and national WhatsApp mobile numbers, since the last few days to repay the loan taken from “Cash Advance Ha”, an unauthorized Chinese micro finance company. When the complainant replied that he had not taken any loan from anyone, the callers started threatening and abusing him through WhatsApp calls/messages repeatedly.
Based on the complaint, the police registered a case under sections 419, 420 and 385 of the IPC & 66 C, 66 D of the IT Act.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the accused were making calls to victims through fraudulently obtained WhatsApp numbers and most of these mobile users were from West Bengal and Assam.
A scrutiny of the call record details, information about IP addresses and payment gateways. One of the accused was located in the Delhi-Gurugram border area, after which raids were conducted at SalaPur Khera, Bijwashan, Delhi, where the accused, Sonu Singh, who used to make the calls to the victims through a fraudulently obtained WhatsApp number, was arrested and the mobile numbers used in the crime were also recovered from him. At the instance of Sonu Singh, another accused, Vikash Kumar, was arrested from Farukhabad in Uttar Pradesh.
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During technical analysis, it was found that Vikash Kumar was running a team of callers, who used to make calls to the people who had taken a loan from their App. It was also found that if a person needed to take a loan through the Apps available online, he had to download the application first.
At the time of downloading the application, the app asks permission to capture the contact list, photo gallery and other personal data of the phone of the loan seeker. It was assured by the loan application that the loan amount would be interest-free for the next 60 days. As soon as the permission was granted by the loan seeker, all their data automatically got transferred to Chinese servers.
Two more persons, Harpreet Singh and Pankaj Kumar, who are working as managers in the company, have also been arrested and one more accused, Jitender Kumar, who used to provide WhatsApp mobile numbers for calling purposes has also been arrested in the case.
A technical analysis of fake applications revealed that malware was being installed in victims’ mobile phones followed by phone hacking and access of their personal data led to extortion. Police recovered three mobile phones from the possession of the accused and said that further investigation is underway.
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