Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar Cyber Cops Nail 5 People Who Extorted Money From Bhayandar Resident
Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar cyber cops nailed five who defrauded and extorted money from Bhayandar resident
Hours after mid-day, the front page of a report on the use of social media and popular apps by unscrupulous digital lenders, a departure from Google Play Store, Mira-Bhayandar police arrested five people for their alleged role in the extortion of a man. The complainant had come across an ad for a loan app on Instagram. While he downloaded it and never asked for a loan, he was blackmailed into paying.
Mira-Bhayandar police cyber cell, Vasai-Virar said three suspects, identified as Vasai resident Deepak Mishra, 27, Vilber Sharma, 33, and Manoj Sharma, 33, from Naigaon rented their accounts counter banks to receive money from borrowers. Each of them received a monthly commission of Rs 50,000, police said. Mishra owns an import-export business. A man, believed to be the leader of the group, escaped after getting a clue about the police action, they said.
Also read: Lending app fraud: Mobile loan scam moves from apps to social media
The man got the app through an ad on Insta. Representation photo
Citing the case, filed on August 4, police said dozens of illegal loan apps were emerging via ads on influencer pages on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other popular mobile apps, while many have emerged on Google Play Store with new names.
Sources said that Mishra, Vilber and Manoj told the police that their account was used by a 21-year-old Vasai woman and a certain Roshan Peter D’souza from Nalasopara. Cops have yet to discover the exact amount that landed in each of the three accounts each month. Cops shared the trio’s Aadhaar and PAN numbers with 180 banks and demanded they let them know if there were any bank accounts linked to the three suspects.
“The fraudsters used fake rental contracts to open bank accounts in someone else’s name. Once an account was opened, they took control of it and paid monthly rent to the account holder,” said an officer with knowledge of the investigation. The case has now been handed over to Bhayandar Police.
The new modus operandi of illegal loan apps has come to light after a 34-year-old man from Bhayandar filed a complaint with the police. The plaintiff, the head of a security agency, said he was watching an Instagram video on July 30 when he came across an advertisement for loan app Rupee Tiger. He clicked on the ad link and downloaded the app, but didn’t ask for a loan.
The complainant told the police that Rs 1,600 had been deposited in his bank account. He soon received a WhatsApp message asking him to pay Rs 3,000. Later messages threatened to share his transformed photos with all his contacts. Frightened, he paid Rs 3,000 to the debt collectors, but another Rs 1,600 was credited to his account and he was told to pay Rs 3,000 for the second time. On a third attempt, he turned to the police.
None of the bank cops asked for information from
Amount in rupees the man was forced to pay twice