FRAUD TO PHONE: Pan-India network neutralised in joint operations of several state police units

A case of cyber fraud of Rs. 6.5 lakh was reported on Friday (June 11) by a 78-year old Udaipur resident to CyberSafe. The FRAUD TO PHONE (F2P) caller was operating from Jharkhand.

Tracking via the FCORD-run CyberSafe app revealed that the funds were directly credited to 3 SBI cards, which were used to buy 33 expensive China-made Xiaomi POCO M3 mobile phones from Flipkart. Within minutes the addresses where these were delivered in Balaghat (MP) were identified and SP Balaghat informed. MP police were most efficient in detaining the mastermind and all 33 new phones and several more were seized from him.

The F2P gang bought these phones for about Rs.10,000 each and sold them in the black market for a 5-10% discount. Jharkhand Police has arrested the F2P caller.

This F2P Gang had several hundred operatives who were running different legs of the transactions which involved OTP fraud, Credit Cards frauds, e-Commerce frauds, fake IDs, fake mobile numbers, fake addresses, black marketing, tax 
evasion, money laundering and habitually dealing with stolen goods.

In all, 8 F2P Gang masterminds (MP 2, Jharkhand 4, AP-2) have been arrested and nearly 300 new mobile phones bought from stolen funds seized. Further, 900 cell phones, 1000 bank accounts and hundreds of UPI and e-commerce IDs of this gang were identified and are under investigation, while nearly 100 bank accounts and debit/credit cards were frozen. 

The operation against the F2P Gang has expanded to 18 States and 350 persons now and is ongoing.

The accused are also being questioned for reasons for preference of China-made phones, especially those made by Xiaomi. CyberSafe is an app created by FCORD, operative from August 2019. It links more than 3,000 Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs), including police stations in 19 States/UTs with 18 fintech entities online and in real-time. As soon as a victim informs the police, the information is entered on CyberSafe and in real-time, fund flows are identified and communicated. 

Till now 65,000 phone frauds were reported on this app and 55,000 phone numbers and several thousand bank accounts of fraudsters identified. Soon, 
NPCI will be integrating with CyberSafe, expanding the ambit of real-time prevention of cybercrime to the UPI domain, thereby amplifying its success in crime prevention, manifold.

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