Beware, transnational malware and fraudulent activities are going on. By downloading and using amomums on your gadgets you might be a victim of severe losses. On receipt of a complaint from a victim who was cheated of an amount of Rs.50,000/- by using an App. which she got in the form of a link through her colleague, team of Cyber Crime Unit of Delhi Police busted a gang by arresting two Chinese nationals and their 10 associates.
By luring more than 40000 victims cheated crores in two months. Preliminary investigation reveals that the entire criminal conspiracy categorized into four stages:
1. Exponential circulation of website registration and App download links through WhatsApp using MLM-based referral method.
2. Inducing the link recipient to download their malicious mobile App which, once downloaded, gains almost complete control over the device/phone of the user.
3. Inducing users to like and follow Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube profiles and posts suggested by the App. It is common knowledge that once a user follows a particular profile from his account, the content posted by that profile will regularly come on the user’s timeline.
Further, the mere liking of a post on a social media App by a user will make it visible to other users who are friends/followers of that user, who may also follow that profile, which is being pushed by the malicious App.
By doing such concerted actions with millions of Indian users, this malicious App ends up creating thousands of social media profiles of unknown origin and ownership that is being followed by crores of Indians. Such a massive control over what Indian social media users can see and listen could have serious future national security implications, especially because the origin and ownership of most of these accounts are not known.
4. Inducing users of the App to pay for VIP accounts and siphoning out the money thus accumulated, through multiple shell companies and crypto-wallets. A significant portion of the defrauded money is ending up in the hands of local money mules.
The case has been registered under various sections of the IT Act and IPC. Both the Chinese national Ms. Chaohong Deng Daoyong (27yrs), Ms. Wu Jiazhi (54yrs), and their associates are in police custody.
Rs.25.42 Lakh of the defrauded money has been recovered from their possession. 12 bank accounts, Crypto-Wallets, and Payment Gateway IDs have been blocked. Around four crores and seventy-five lakhs defrauded money has been frozen. Further investigation is going on.
Downloading and using apps. on the gadget is common practice. One can avoid risk by following the indicated steps - Never download and install any App through links sent over WhatsApp with promises of quick money. These Apps are not verified and listed by genuine App Store/Play Store and may undertake malicious activities.
Never like or follow the social media accounts being pushed through such fraudulent applications. These social media accounts of unknown origin and ownership may infest your social media timeline with content detrimental to you as well as the society at large.
Never pay any money to such malicious and fraudulent apps.