Noida woman put under digital arrest for 5 days, duped of ₹1.30 crore - Hindustan Times
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Noida woman put under digital arrest for 5 days, duped of 1.30 crore

Jun 22, 2024 06:34 AM IST

The fraudster directed her not to disconnect the call even for a minute or reveal the process of investigation to anyone to avoid facing any legal action

Noida:

On June 13, one of the suspects called up the woman, claiming that he belonged to a courier firm based at Andheri in Mumbai, and a parcel, containing incriminating items and belonging to her, has been found. (Representational image)
On June 13, one of the suspects called up the woman, claiming that he belonged to a courier firm based at Andheri in Mumbai, and a parcel, containing incriminating items and belonging to her, has been found. (Representational image)

A 73-year-old woman in Noida was allegedly duped of 1.3 crore by cybercrime frauds who placed her under “digital arrest” through a video call for five days since June 13, on the pretext of giving her a police clearance certificate. The suspects accused her of being involved in a money laundering case, police officers aware of the matter said on Friday.

Assistant commissioner of police (cybercrime), Noida, Vivek Ranjan, said that the complainant, Suchi Agrawal, lives with her husband at Sector 49, and their son is based in the United States.

On June 13, one of the suspects called up Agrawal and said that he belonged to a courier firm based at Andheri in Mumbai, and a parcel, containing incriminating items and belonging to her, has been found. Other suspects also posed as investigating officers and asked her to either visit Mumbai for questioning or else she will be connected to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Mumbai, for a probe, investigators said.

The woman, who avoided taking calls from her family members, ended up transferring 1.30 crore over the next five days. She also managed to keep her husband in the dark while he was under the same roof, they added.

“In her police complaint, filed on Thursday, Agrawal said that she received a call from an unidentified mobile number. The caller said... an illegal packet in her name has been seized. The details of her Aadhaar and PAN cards as well as passport were found inside the box containing some illegal items,” Ranjan said.

“She was later told that she was also found to be involved in a hawala transaction for which she would need to visit Mumbai ‘for questioning’ or he would connect her to NCB Mumbai for investigation,” the officer said citing the complaint.

“The fraudster then connected with Agrawal through a video call and directed her not to disconnect the call even for a minute or reveal the process of investigation to anyone if she did not want to face any legal action,” said ACP Ranjan. Agrawal, who was terrified, remained on the call for five days without informing her husband, who was in another room.

“Whenever she got a call from a family member or friend, she disconnected it… She is familiar to net banking and transferred 1.30 crore in installments during the five days. The suspect managed to get her bank balance details on the pretext of questioning,” the officer added.

“On the fifth day, the fraudster disconnected the video call and told her that she would receive the police clearance certificate in the next 24 hours. But when she did not get any certificate, and found that the caller’s mobile number was also switched off, she realised that she had been duped,” added ACP Ranjan.

She narrated her ordeal to her husband and approached the cybercrime branch on Thursday.

On the complaint of the victim, a case under sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly) of the Indian Penal Code and IT Act was registered against the unidentified accused at the cybercrime branch at midnight and efforts are on to nab the accused, police said.

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