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Demonetisation: With lucrative ‘exchange offers’, cyber criminals target black money holders in Pune

Cyber security experts and personnel from the Cyber Crime Cell of Pune City Police believe that such bulk e-mails are being sent to thousands of people.

Written by Chandan Shantaram Haygunde | Pune |
November 24, 2016 12:12:22 am
  Demonetisation, cyber crime, Demonetisation cyber crime, exchage offer, old notes, old notes exchange, indian express news, pune, pune news, india news According to police, cyber fraudsters know that those with huge amounts of black money are looking for options to exchange their old currency notes with new ones. (Photo for representational purpose.)

Cyber criminals are using the Centre’s decision to demonetise high denomination currency notes to target black money holders and make some quick money by cheating them. In an effort to lure black money holders, cyber fraudsters have been sending bulk e-mails which promise new currency notes in exchange of scrapped notes, but only after the payment of a 5 per cent “commission”.

Cyber security experts and personnel from the Cyber Crime Cell of Pune City Police believe that such bulk e-mails are being sent to thousands of people.

According to police, cyber fraudsters know that those with huge amounts of black money are looking for options to exchange their old currency notes with new ones. So they send such e-mails in bulk, hoping to reach some of these hoarders of black money.

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One such e-mail, received by a staffer of The Indian Express, stated, “Are you stranded with your old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes? Worry not ! We change old banned notes for new acceptable currency of Rs 100, 500 and 2,000 notes as per your wish. Our commission is 5 to 7 per cent, minimum changeable amount is Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 crore. Contact now, before the government deadline is reached. Note: 100 per cent secrecy is maintained.”

The e-mail also mentioned a cell phone number and an e-mail address for those who want to get in touch with the sender.

When this correspondent called the number mentioned in the mail, the call was answered by someone who claimed to be “Peter from Mumbai”.

Peter referred this correspondent to his “secretary James” to share more details about the procedure of exchanging old currency notes.

“James” called this reporter for details on the amount to be exchanged and said the requisite “arrangements” could be made in Bangalore, and “a commission of 5 per cent” would be charged. He said his “office would call back”, but no such call has been received till date.

When informed about the mail and the calls, Senior Police Inspector Sunil Pawar from the Cyber Cell of Pune City Police said the e-mails appear to be fraudulent and people should be cautious about such cyber fraudsters. Police have, so far, not received any complaint of cheating through such fraudulent e-mails.

“Even if anyone gets cheated, the possibility of the victim filing a complaint in such cases is low because that person would be a black money holder,” said a police officer.

Rohit Srivastwa, founder of ClubHack and an expert in cyber crime investigation, said, “Cyber fraudsters have their ways and tricks through which they manage to get data about a huge number of e-mail addresses. They send fraudulent e-mails to various users with lucrative offers. Some of those who receive these e-mails fall prey to these offers and lose their money.”

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