Tamil Nadu cyber-crime busted a gang by arresting 18 people, including the suspected mastermind Syed Raghib Khursheed from New Delhi.
Cyber-crimes like asking for updating Know Your Customer (KYC) details, linking pan with Aadhar and bank account, renewal of bank debit and credit cards and in in-numerous novel ways. Police say, “It is also being used for terror funding.”
Five people were arrested from Assam’s Nagaon and Morigaon districts a few days ago for allegedly supplying SIM cards to Pakistani agents. Among the items recovered from the arrested people and houses of the other five absconding accused are 18 mobile phones, 136 SIM cards suspected to have been procured for fraudulent purposes, one fingerprint scanner, one high-tech CPU and some documents such as birth certificates, passbooks and photographs.
The arrested were identified as Ashiqul Islam, Bodor Uddin, Mijanur Rahman and Wahiduz Zaman, all from Nagaon, and Baharul Islam from Morigaon. During interrogation, it was revealed that Ashiqul Islam was using a mobile handset with two IMEI numbers from which a WhatsApp call was made, sharing defence information with a foreign embassy. “That specific mobile phone was found in his possession. Other nabbed people were also found technically involved in this connection.
Sivaganga district has busted a Coimbatore-based gang involved in siphoning off money from bank accounts of unsuspecting people with 18 persons and seized as many as 22,735 SIM cards. Tracking the location, they reached Peelamedu, where one Shikka Marketing company from Srinagar was operating. Tamil Nadu cyber-crime police, led by Additional Superintendent of Police, Namasivayam, acted on a February 26 case of cheating a victim of Rs 99,887.
According to media reports, the victim had clicked a link received as an SMS on his phone to update a private bank’s Know Your Customer form. He entered personal details on a fake Internet banking site that looked similar to that of a private bank. He also joined several One-Time Passwords received on the phone. Later, he got an alert from the bank that Rs 99,887 had been debited from his account. Acting on the complaint, police found that the phone number that had sent the SMS to the victim was in the name of a person from Virudhunagar but was active from a location in Coimbatore. They also found that the phone was switched off after remaining active for 5 to 10 minutes. The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) of the mobile number revealed that the mobile phone used 80 to 90 SIM cards in a day. These mobile numbers were used only to send SMS to several mobile numbers.
Police said, “We found that the mobile numbers were used to send bulk SMS and once a SIM had been used, the number was switched off, and another mobile number was used through the same mobile device,” said.
During the raid, the police found many fake SIM cards SMS sending software running on several laptops and desktop computers. The company, run by a couple, N Saravanan (52) and Bharathi (48) of Veeriyapalayam Road, employed seven women and paid them to send the messages.
The police seized 22,735 SIM cards, 11 laptops, 19 desktop computers, 292 mobile phones, 23 SIM modem boxes, and nine ATM cards with chequebooks.
Interrogation of Saravanan revealed that one Syed Raghib Khursheed from Delhi had provided the fake links and the mobile numbers to which the spam links were sent. He was paid based on the volume of SMS sent.
Saravanan and his wife had used SIM cards purchased from several persons. The police have arrested 18 persons, including Khursheed from New Delhi. Others arrested, including women, were from Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Pollachi, Tiruchi, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi, and Tirunelveli. It is suspected that the gang might have links with international terror outfits for its fundraising needs.
In January this year, cyber-crime police arrested a 35-year-old man from Kerala for allegedly illegally running a telephone exchange to make ISD calls as local calls. The arrested was identified as Basheer, who was staying in ICE House, and police seized as many as 1700 SIM cards and 15 SIM boxes from the suspect. “Initially, SIM cards and 9 SIM boxes were seized. After extracting information from him, raids were carried out on premises in Royapettah and CIT Nagar, and six SIM boxes and more SIM cards were seized. Totally 15 SIM boxes containing modem equipment and over 1700 SIM cards were seized. Basheer started doing the ‘call business’ after coming in contact with one Abdul Rahman of Saudi Arabia “, a Chennai cyber-crime press release said.
Last year, they arrested one Jagir Hussian, a native of Tripura from Aminjikarai. Based on his confession, police detained one Salman Sherif from Vellore.
Maharashtra State cyber-crime police, have busted an instant loan app racket linked to international cryptocurrencies. The investigators exposed loan app fraudsters by digging out their photographs posted on social media. The arrest of 14 accused last June, including three women, has helped bust a Rs 350 crore pan-India loan app racket which has defrauded lakhs since 2018.
The fraudsters are more tech-savvy and develop novel ways to loot people hard earned money. They also phish their data to be sold to international gangs.