Kozhikode: Online fraudsters still manage to get their way despite heightened vigil by online users and the use of latest cyber security measures. Several bank account holders in Kerala have been duped of late by rackets based primarily in the northern parts of the country. In a major such crime a north-India based online racket cheated over Rs 6 lakh from an elderly lady doctor who was trapped through the 'Any Desk' app. However, the money was recovered after six months following a focused investigation by the Cyber Police.
The online racket filched Rs 6.44 lakh from the bank account of the 77-year-old lady doctor who lives near Highlight Mall at Thondayad bypass. The incident took place in July 2021.
Based on the complaint filed by the doctor, Kozhikode crime records bureau assistant commissioner C Ranjith constituted a three-member probe team under district Cyber Police inspector S Niyaz. The probe team recovered the money from the north Indian swindlers the other day.
What police say
The police stated the online racket called the doctor on her mobile and asked to link the bank account number with the phone. Initially, the doctor grew suspicious and cut the call. Soon they called her again saying that they are speaking from the bank and asked to link the account immediately. The lady doctor was also told that the account will be blocked if she does not link it with the phone.
The doctor believed them and asked what needs to be done. They asked her to download the 'Any Desk' app from the Google Play Store and share the code number.
The doctor downloaded the app and provided them with the code number. She was further asked to transfer just Rs 10 to another account number for linking the account with the phone. She was given the bank account number and IFSC code as well.
Subsequently, Rs 10 was transferred through mobile transfer. To her shock, within minutes she received the first message that Rs 2 lakh had been withdrawn from her account. Subsequently, Rs 1.8 lakh was lost. In this manner within a span of just two days Rs 6.44 lakh were withdrawn from the account in four transactions.
How the cops tracked fraudsters
Without disclosing her blunder to anyone, the doctor submitted a complaint to the Cyber Police. Based on the information received from the HDFC Bank branch at Vakkom Road, the Cyber Police team led by inspector S Niyaz carried out the investigation focussing on Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan. Following information received from these states, the police traced the banks where the money had been deposited.
With the accused getting caught in the police net, the Cyber Police spoke to the bank officials and police in Rajasthan. They got the money back from the banks where it was deposited.
The entire amount was recovered the other day. The doctor told the police that since the entire amount has been recovered, she does not want any further action on the complaint.
The police handed over the money back to the doctor.
On her request, the police haven't disclosed the name of the complainant. The police said the 'Any Desk' app is the new method of online fraud. Besides S Niyaz, cyber police SI T Baiju and Jithesh Kollengode took part in the investigations.
Any Desk app
This software can control the mobile phone, laptop and computer from a distant place without the knowledge of the owner. The software was developed in 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany. After downloading the app, all programmes can be operated by others using the code number that is provided at the time of downloading the app.