Jamtara 2.0 fraudsters suspected in Nuh cyber police station attack

In recent years, Nuh has emerged as India’s second largest cybercrime hotspot

NUH (HARYANA) | Updated: 07 August, 2023 4:13 pm IST
Hundreds of people vandalised the cyber police station in Nuh and set vehicles on fire on July 31

NUH (HARYANA): The daylight attack and arson at Nuh’s cyber police station emerged as a focal point during recent communal violence in Haryana. However, indications suggest that the rampage was driven by cyber fraudsters aiming to eliminate their incriminating records.

Within hours of clashes between two groups, fueled by stone pelting at a Hindu procession near Nalhad village on July 31, the police station came under siege from hundreds of locals, predominantly youth.

Rioters commandeered a bus, smashing into its boundary wall, while vehicles were torched and destruction ensued. Police sought refuge within, occasionally firing to disperse the crowd. Despite these efforts, the mob’s attempt to incinerate the records room was thwarted. Subsequently, the mob assaulted a police party near the station, resulting in the death of two home guards, along with multiple injuries, including an IPS officer.

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Haryana Police officials suspect that the police station was specifically targeted due to its possession of vital evidence against 66 cyber fraudsters apprehended in a significant operation spanning April and May. This operation, one of Haryana Police’s largest raids, encompassed 137 locations across 14 Nuh villages, involving 5000 officers.

It yielded critical proof of online scams, mobile banking frauds, and sextortion, uncovering cyber fraud exceeding ₹100 crore in 28,000 cases across the nation. This revelation placed Nuh, previously among India’s most underdeveloped districts, alongside Jharkhand’s infamous Jamtara as a cybercrime hotspot, earning the moniker ‘Jamtara 2.0.’

Recovered during the raids were 166 fake Aadhaar cards, five PAN cards, 128 ATM cards, 66 mobile phones, 99 SIM cards, five Point of Sale (PoS) machines, and three laptops, according to official figures accessed by The New Indian.

The mob hijacked a bus and rammed it into the wall of Nuh’s Cyber Police Station 

Police are presently reviewing CCTV footage to identify perpetrators and are investigating the involvement of the arrested suspects’ families. An officer noted that the assailants evidently aimed to breach the record room but were prevented by the personnel.

Speaking to The New Indian, ADGP (Law and Order) Mamta Singh stated, “The possibility that the attack aimed to destroy evidence and files related to the April and May raids cannot be dismissed.”

These fraudsters employed a scheme of luring victims with enticing offers for products such as bikes, cars, and mobile phones on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and OLX. Unsuspecting individuals, responding to these listings, were subsequently deceived through charges for courier services and transportation, with no products actually delivered.

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In a separate strategy to target unemployed individuals, they posted advertisements promising substantial monthly earnings for menial tasks. They conned gullible individuals under the pretext of registration fees, packaging materials, and courier expenses.

Moreover, the fraudsters exploited random number series for UPI apps. They would impersonate a friend or relative of their unsuspecting victims, asking them to receive payments on their behalf, ultimately defrauding them through fake payment messages.

The fraudsters also exploited people’s interest in antiquities, duping them of significant sums. Additionally, they engaged in sextortion by creating appealing social media profiles of women, enticing victims into video chats. Once captured in compromising positions, victims were coerced into paying substantial amounts.

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