New and rapidly changing twists in the field of cyber fraud are luring many women settled around Noida and Faridabad into a new fraudulent method, which is being called the ‘digital arrest‘ con. After conceiving this new surface, people need to increase their vigilance so that they can avoid such manipulations. The criminals forced the victims to transfer funds from their accounts, claiming it was necessary for a Supreme Court-ordered investigation.
Recently 2 new separate cases have been reported from Noida and Faridabad. Where unsuspecting women became victims of the dangerous trend of “digital arrest”. In both cases, the victims were defrauded of huge sums worth lakhs, while also being subjected to psychological manipulation by cybercriminals posing as law enforcement officials.
Do you know about digital arrest?
The digital arrest is an emerging cybercrime wherein scammers, posing as law enforcement officials, deceive their targets into thinking that their Aadhaar card, SIM card, bank card, or bank account has been implicated in criminal activities. Exploiting these false allegations, they coerce victims into paying money through extortion.
In the first case of digital arrest, a woman from Faridabad was cheated of Rs 2.5 lakh. On October 12, the victim received a call from a fraudster who posed as a customs officer in Lucknow. The caller alleged that a parcel containing the passport and card linked to the victim’s Aadhaar number was being sent to Cambodia. The victim was forced to believe that she was involved in criminal activities, including human trafficking. Cyber criminals posing as police officers made fabricated allegations and ultimately extorted money from the victim.
In the second case of digital arrest, a woman from Noida was cheated of more than Rs 11 lakh. Cybercriminals adopted a similar modus operandi, impersonating police officers and linking victims to fake criminal cases. The victim was told that her Aadhaar card and other personal details were used to purchase mobile phone SIM cards and were further used for illegal advertising and harassment of women.
To further harass the victim, the fraudsters insist on maintaining confidentiality due to alleged national security implications. The victim was pressured to maintain an adequate balance in her accounts and was even advised to apply for a personal instant loan of Rs 20 lakh from ICICI. According to a PTI report, the criminals took a picture of the victim’s signature on Skype on the pretext of validating her Aadhaar card for fake verification.
Upon realizing the fraud, the victim reported the matter to cyber crime officers of Uttar Pradesh Police and gave details of his digital arrest from morning till night, alleging fraud of Rs 11.11 lakh. Inspector Rita Yadav, in charge of cyber crime police station in Noida Sector 36, confirmed the registration of the FIR under relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code.