A ₹68 Lakh Cyber Con Deception Against Retired Navy Officers Posing as Narcotics Officials

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A ₹68 Lakh Cyber Con Deception Against Retired Navy Officers Posing as Narcotics Officials

A ₹68 Lakh Cyber Con Deception Against Retired Navy Officers Posing as Narcotics Officials

Synopsis:

A former Navy officer was duped out of ₹68 Lakhs by cybercriminals.  The Mumbai Crime Branch conducts a high-stakes probe in pursuit of the scammers.

Ramlakhedi Manoj Bhurariya, a 55-year-old retired officer from the Indian Navy, was the unfortunate victim of a meticulously planned cyber fraud that resulted in the loss of Rs 68 lakh. Bhurariya, a former Principal Director at the Delhi headquarters of the Indian Navy, apprised the Mumbai Crime Branch of his ordeal, thereby instigating a complex inquiry into the fraudulent activities.

Subsequent to contacting Bhurariya via a fraudulent Skype ID, the fraud ensued in the form of menacing video calls that threatened to place him under house arrest and a no-bail warrant. The culmination of these threats was a demand for ₹68 lakh in extortion, which compelled him to contact the Mumbai Crime Branch for assistance. Since then, the Cyber Crime Police have assumed responsibility for the matter, commencing an inquiry into fraud in light of the comprehensive complaint lodged by Bhurariya.

The complex fraudulent scheme commenced on January 25, when Bhurariya was the recipient of a phone call from a purported FedEx Mumbai office employee named Harish Nayak. Nayak claimed that a package containing 200 grams of MDMA that was allegedly being sent from Mumbai to Taiwan using Bhurariya’s Aadhaar number had been apprehended. Bhurariya was recommended to file a complaint with the Cyber Crime Unit after questioning the authenticity of the package. This led to his encounter with a fraudster impersonating Inspector Prakash Kumar of the Narcotics Mumbai Crime Branch.

Kumar, capitalizing on Bhurariya’s reliance, recommended that he utilize Skype as a means of ensuring secure communication and advised him to maintain a state of isolation throughout their conversations, citing concerns regarding mobile surveillance. By means of a fictitious WhatsApp agreement, Bhurariya was obligated to prevent the issuance of a non-bailable warrant in exchange for her cooperation until the alleged investigation was concluded.

The fraudulent activity escalated in intensity when an additional con artist, posing as IPS Baal Singh Rajput, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Cyber Crime, initiated communication with Bhurariya via Skype. By associating Bhurariya’s Aadhaar number with a recognized legislator who was implicated in a money laundering scandal, this impostor entangled him further in their fraudulent story.

Amidst the pretense of this inquiry, Bhurariya was compelled to furnish bank statements spanning a period of six months. The con artists then forwarded a forged correspondence purporting to originate from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which provided him with instructions to transmit 49% of the examined sum through RTGS. Inadvertently, the letter guaranteed a refund once the investigation was concluded.

Bhurariya complied with the directives and, over the course of multiple days, transferred a sum totaling Rs 68.49 lakh into three designated bank accounts. In spite of assurances of communication and reimbursement, the fraudsters have remained silent and have not contacted Bhurariya via WhatsApp or Skype.

With the Mumbai Crime Branch immersed in this intricate case involving identity theft and money laundering, Bhurariya’s predicament stands as a poignant testament to the sophisticated strategies that cybercriminals employ and underscores the criticality of maintaining a watchful eye in the era of digital technology.

About The Author:

Yogesh Naager is a content marketer who specializes in the cybersecurity and B2B space.  Besides writing for the News4Hackers blog, he’s also written for brands including CollegeDunia, Utsav Fashion, and NASSCOM.  Naager entered the field of content in an unusual way.  He began his career as an insurance sales executive, where he developed an interest in simplifying difficult concepts.  He also combines this interest with a love of narrative, which makes him a good writer in the cybersecurity field.  In the bottom line, he frequently writes for Craw Security.

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