While scrolling Facebook, a law student came across a loan app advertisement. Out of curiosity, she clicked on the ad.
To avail loan, she filled the online application and provided all details of her phone number, bank account, Aadhaar number and PAN. No sooner did she register herself and provided her details than she received a WhatsApp message.
The message said she had taken a loan of Rs 2,000. The sender threatened her to pay the loan. However, she had not received any such loan amount. When she refused to entertain the callers, they started abusing her in Hindi and sent her absurd messages.
They threatened to circulate her nude pictures. When she still did not budge, the fraudsters morphed vulgar nude pictures and sent them to all her WhatsApp contacts including her family, friends and relatives.
“They started making indecent and filthy calls. They demanded money and threatened to morph my pictures and circulate them to my contact list. When I did not send them money, they morphed by pictures and circulated it,” said the victim law student.
With no options left, the law student has approached the Cuttack Cyber Police and lodged a complaint in this connection.
It is not an isolated case. Rather, several people from Odisha and other parts of India in recent times have fallen prey to such high-end cyber crimes. The fraudsters defraud gullible people by hundreds of crores.
Another girl from Cuttack took Rs 1,000 from one of these apps. But, the scamsters defrauded Rs 80,000 from her.
These frauds target people who are searching for loans through these Chinese operated fake loan apps that are available on the Play Store. There are a plenty of such fake apps on Play Store.
As soon as people click on this apps and register themselves, all their data get transferred to the Chinese servers. Soon, the fraudsters use the data to harass and blackmail the person.
To make things worse, the fraudsters extort money from the loan seekers even after they repay the loans. They share morphed vulgar photos of the loan seeker with families, relatives and friends to build pressure on the victims to pay more.
The scamsters are mostly based in China, Hong Kong, Dubai and Nepal, reports said. Recently, Odisha and Mumbai police have issued a lookout circular for a Chinese national, Liu Yi, who is believed to be the mastermind behind the extortion.
When contacted, Chandrika Swain, IIC, Cyber Police Station, Cuttack said, “Probe into the fraud is on. Many such frauds have been reported from various parts of the country. Preliminary probe reveals these apps are operated by Chinese scamsters.”
“My request to common netizens is to not click on unknown links that come through WhatsApp. Avoid any kind of instant loan apps, if you come across on social media.”
Similarly, Dilip Tripathy, EOW, SP said, “They were operating from the China-Nepal border. At least 190 people including Chinese Nationals have been arrested. However, the mastermind Liu Yi managed to escape.”