Officials from India's Bihar State Police on Monday busted a major inter-state cyber fraud racket, leading to the arrests of 16 people at a rest house in the famous Buddhist pilgrim town called Bodh Gaya.
The cops confiscated 40 ATM cards, 12 bank passbooks, 24 smart phones, 12 feature phones, 12 SIM cards, 14 fake stamps and fake ID cards. Among the other items were 2kg of gold-type coins, laptops, two colour printers, 2,500 scratch cards, 1,700 envelopes, 10kg of pamphlets, copies, diaries, registers, contraband liquor bottles, and three motorbikes have also been seized.
Eight out of the 16 people arrested hail from the state of Karnataka, along with five from Gaya town and two from the Nawada area (Bihar state), and one from Kolkata city (West Bengal state).
Citing Aditya Kumar, the senior superintendent of police (SSP) in Gaya, Indian daily the Hindustan Times reported that the arrested people from Karnataka have confessed to the crime.
The “gang” procured phone numbers and addresses of online buyers through e-commerce websites including Amazon, Flipkart and ShopClues. After attracting shoppers with offers and scratch cards to their malicious pages, the cyber criminals captured their credentials. To make their scam more believable, the gang also sent out fake gold coins by post to some “scratch card winners”.
The gang was formed by an engineering drop-out, Raushan Kumar, who remains on the loose.
The investigating officers are still trying to trace victims of the fraud and have requested people who have been conned by the accused to contact Gaya Police.
Earlier, in 2020, cases of online bitcoin scams along with the theft of card details and their sale on the Dark Web made headlines around the world.
One of the biggest cyber fraud cases with e-commerce sites at the centre from last year was hosted by an infamous hacking group called “Keeper”. The group hacked 570 e-commerce stores in 55 countries, including India, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US, and sold the data of online shoppers for over $7 million on the Dark Web.