Cyber loan fraud: Ahmedabad cops file FIR, to take down 300 apps, websites


The Ahmedabad cyber cell has lodged an FIR against unknown persons for providing short-term loans and later, threatening them to return the money by blackmailing the victims using morphed images. The cell has also been working with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take down over 300 apps and websites associated with such crimes.

With short-term loan frauds on the rise, the police Monday revealed that they have detected server locations in China and cautioned citizens against availing such services that permit remote access to photos and contact lists in phones used to access such websites and applications.

Addressing a press conference Monday, JM Yadav, ACP-Cyber Crime Cell, explained that the modus operandi involved providing short-term loans of 90 days through various mobile applications and websites. The apps would request for photo and identity proof and through that, gain access to photos and contact lists on phones.

“While the loan duration would be for a period of 90 days, within seven to 10 days, the victims would start receiving calls from international numbers with ISD codes showing to be that of Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, etc. Morphed photos would be sent out to the victims, their family members and friends to blackmail them for the money. We have traced the host of such websites and apps to China and are working with Indian-Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to take down such websites and apps,” said Yadav, adding that the cops have been receiving nearly 5-10 complaints per day since the past two years and probe was underway since then.

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While no arrests have been made and none have been named as an accused so far, the ACP said that the police are looking out for people who may be locally involved in propagating such applications and websites.

The FIR, lodged on December 16, has been lodged for the offences under IPC Sections 419 (cheating through impersonation), 420 (cheating), 447 (criminal trespass), 465, 467 (forgery) and 471 (using forged document), and the Information Technology Act Sections 66 (c) (identity theft), 66 (computer-related offences), 66D (cheating by personation using computer resource) and 43 (b) (data theft).


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