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Cyber Criminals Inspired by Money Heist Arrested for Defrauding Noida Businessman
In a case reminiscent of the popular TV series ‘Money Heist’, two cyber criminals have been apprehended by Uttar Pradesh Cyber Crime police for orchestrating a sophisticated scam that defrauded a Noida-based businessman of Rs 1 crore. Drawing inspiration from the show, the accused employed a combination of hacking techniques and elaborate deception to carry out their scheme. This report delves into the details of the incident and the methods used by the cyber thugs.
The Scheme Unveiled:
After a Noida businessman reported unauthorized fund transfers amounting to Rs 1 crore from his bank account, the Uttar Pradesh Cyber Crime police swung into action. The accused were identified as Ritesh Chaturvedi (Amit Singh) and Rishabh Jain (Prince Thakur).
Hacking Techniques and Deception:
The accused managed to gain unauthorized access to the complainant’s company email account, which was linked to their bank account. Utilizing a virtual private network (VPN) and the dark web, they established a cloak of anonymity. By employing SIM cards procured with forged identification and circumventing the one-time password (OTP) verification system, the criminals successfully executed the fraudulent fund transfers.
Once control of the victim’s bank account was secured, the accused transferred the embezzled funds to four separate bank accounts, all of which had been created using counterfeit identities. The final step involved converting the stolen money into cryptocurrencies through an e-wallet on USDT (Tether).
Adoption of ‘Money Heist’ Identities:
Intriguingly, the cyber criminals adopted a unique approach to conceal their activities. They joined multiple WhatsApp and Telegram groups, using character names from the ‘Money Heist’ series. Going by the monikers ‘Professor’ and ‘Rio’, the accused crafted a network of fake SIM cards and international mobile numbers associated with their assumed identities.
Seizure of Evidence and Legal Action:
During the arrests, law enforcement confiscated a range of incriminating materials, including a vehicle, laptop, 11 mobile phones, 25 SIM cards, and 23 debit cards. The police have lodged an FIR under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (cheating) and relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act.
The arrest of these cyber criminals serves as a cautionary tale highlighting the evolving tactics employed by tech-savvy criminals in the digital age. The convergence of hacking expertise, identity manipulation, and cryptocurrency conversion underscores the need for robust cybersecurity measures and public awareness. As society grapples with the challenges of an interconnected world, vigilance and proactive measures are essential to thwarting such cyber threats.