Chinese scam that deceived 5 lakh Indians of Rs 150 crore arrested | India News
Around five lakh Indians have been misled out of their “investment” and their confidential data has been stolen through malicious “quick wins”. Applications running around in the garb of an online multilevel marketing campaign. More than 150 million rupees have been diverted in just two months, according to police commissioner SN Shrivastava.
Rs 11 crore has been blocked in various bank accounts and payment gateways and 97 lakh of cash recovered from a Gurgaon-based CA that formed more than 110 companies for Chinese scammers.
These applications offered lucrative returns on investment with claims of doubling the amount of the investment in 24-35 days. They also had schemes that promised hourly and daily returns, and had investment options ranging from Rs 300 to several lakhs. One of the apps, Power Bank, recently ranked at # 4 on the Google Play Store, cops saying.
Explaining the origin of the operation, DCP Anyesh Roy said that Cyber Crime Cell had become aware of various posts on people’s social media about two apps: Power Bank and EZPlan.
A team led by ACP Aditya Gautam carried out extensive technical application analysis in a laboratory. “EZPlan was available on the website www.ezplan.in. The Power Bank app It projected itself as a Bengaluru-based tech startup involved in fast-charging tech, in an attempt to fool people. However, the server on which the application was hosted was found to be based in China, “DCP said.
Malicious apps were also associated with various permissions, such as “camera access”, “read contact details” and “read and write to external storage”.
In order to attract large numbers of people to invest more, a small payment amounting to 5-10% of the money invested was given.
People, believing that the “scheme” was genuine, began to invest more money, as well as to circulate and share the applications with their friends and family. Once someone had invested a large amount, the applications locked their account, causing serious financial losses.
When asked how people came to know about these apps, the main Chinese manipulators behind this massive scam used to randomly contact people through various apps like WhatsApp and Telegram and hire interested people as partners to obtain fake bank accounts, create fictitious companies, circulate and promote the applications, transfer money, etc.
“Scammers have distributed a large number of these applications, including Power Bank, EZCoin, Sun Factory, Lightening Power Bank, etc. Some of these fraudulent and malicious applications were also listed on the Google Play Store,” said a senior official.
Police said most of these apps were promoted through YouTube channels, Telegram channels, and WhatsApp chat links sent via bulk SMS. Once the user signed up for the apps, they were repeatedly induced to invest money for very high returns.