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Digital Arrest: Conmen posing as police officers dupe victims

Why is it in the news?

  • Scammers are adopting various personas, including TRAI officials and police officers, to deceive victims.

More about the news

  • Rohini, a 50-year-old resident of Noida’s Sector 34, received a call from fake TRAI officials alleging her involvement in money laundering through a SIM card purchased with her Aadhaar credentials.
  • She was further contacted by individuals posing as senior IPS officers who coerced her into downloading Skype for interrogation sessions.
  • Rohini was told that an arrest warrant had been issued in her name and was instructed to transfer money to avoid arrest, totalling her entire savings of ₹11,11,295.
  • Despite attempts to contact the scammers through Skype over three days, Rohini received no response, leading her to realize she had been scammed.
  • Scammers often initiate contact with victims, starting from constable-level calls and progressing to higher-ranking officers, to lend authenticity to their scheme.
  • The source of victims’ personal data, including Aadhaar details, remains elusive, though bulk data sales on the Dark Web are suspected.

   Measures to be taken

  • Public awareness campaigns have been initiated to educate people about such scams, urging victims to report incidents promptly to the authorities.
  • Fraudsters often use profile photos of IPS officers on messaging platforms, and victims should remain vigilant to avoid falling prey to such schemes.
  • It’s recommended to update passwords regularly, enable two-factor authentication, and refrain from clicking on links from unknown sources to mitigate the risk of cyber fraud.

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