The involvement of the Nigerians in online fraud cases is not new to the world. The fraudulent are also known as 419NRS worldwide and according to the available information their main job is constantly searching for new victims over the internet through various social media platforms. The constant frauds have generated a huge challenge in front of the Goa Police as many people from this tiny state had been cheated by these fraudulent Nigerians. Now this crime is taking a new turn and the main culprits have started roping their local counterparts also in this game. According to the news published in the local daily, The involvement of one Delhi-based police constable has been ascertained in this case of fund transfer fraud which has a Nigerian hand behind it.

The source revealed that one Delhi police constable posing as NRI account holder frequently got the funds transferred in his account with the help of Nigerian national and this fact has been confirmed by the cyber crime cell of local police. The constable of Delhi police had been already put behind the bar, but the mastermind Nigerian is still at large. This case has also revealed the shocking truth according to which the local counterpart of the Nigerian national was appointed to handle the online fraud on a commission-sharing basis. Delhi police constable posing as NRI account holder in nationalized bank in Goa had managed to get 35 Lakh transferred into his account in Delhi.

The sources have exposed that the modus operandi used by the Nigerian nationals who are sitting in Nigeria and doing online fraud by hacking the email accounts of the bank customers is completely unique, the process would start by sending the email to respective banks from the hacked email IDs and getting to manage the fund transfer into the accounts of their local representatives hired by them. In this particular case, the Nigerian had hired the accused named Neeraj Kumar, a police constable attached to Lodhi police station in New Delhi so that the transfer of money gets easy for them.

During the investigation process police has managed to get the facts out from the accused according to which, Kumar was in touch with the Nigerian national while posted at the police in the station in Delhi. Based on the arrangements, Kumar was getting the money transferred in his account and once the money comes in his account he used to withdraw the money and handover the same to the Nigerian national staying in Delhi who in return would pay him the commission. The Goa Police has managed to seize more than 60 savings as well as current accounts of Kumar which he used to make use for fraudulent money transfers.

According to the sources, Goa Police has acted on the complaint received from the manager of the nationalized bank which claimed that the email was sent to them by the accused posing as an NRI customer based in Dubai and bank had made the transfers of funds in his accounts as per the instructions on the email. But in this case, a customer received the message of funds transfers he immediately got in touch with the bank manager to inform him that he never made any transfer request and bank manager had no other option but to lodge the complaint of this fraud in the cyber crime branch of Goa.

Following the procedure, Goa Police has registered the case against accused under the sections 468 for forging documents, section 471 for using the forged documents as genuine and Section 66 for hacking and 66-D for forging documents through the electronics media.

Typically if you look at the statistics you will realize that there are hundreds of online fraud cases taking place in India which are initiated by the Nigerians or the people from South Africa but hardly one or two cases gets the breakthrough in this. Perhaps India does not have strong cyber crime cell or police personals are not well trained? With these kinds of statistics, any criminal will like to venture into this field without the fear of getting caught. Here in the above case Nigerian culprit is still at large while his Indian counterpart is behind the bar. According to the statistics, there are 22,060 cases have been registered about online fraud in India in 2012 which went up to 71,780 in 2013 and this year till June the figure is 62,189 this indicates the 40% increase in the cyber online crime in India. In fact, these figures are the ones that are reported by the people, and it is estimated that, more than 60% of victims never report either due to an involvement of smaller amounts or out of embarrassments, this also includes the police station not registering the FIRs and just investigating the matter on NC complaint.

Online or cyber crime is stronger and severe compared to the other crimes, it also has bigger geographical areas, and the criminals can easily be managed to get away with it. This is the high time that people learn from the others mistake and remain safe from these traps. Here are few tips that you can follow and avoid getting trapped by the 419NERS

  1. Do not reply or entertain the unsolicited email or personal messages on social media, WhatsApp or mobile phones.
  2. The cases of leaving the huge sum of an amount by someone and making you a next kin of them is far from reality, the history is having several examples of people fighting for the properties among themselves, hence do not fall for this kind of traps.
  3. Beautiful girls or perhaps we call it their images with sweet messages can be nothing but only a trap which these 419nrs or Nigerians use to get hold of their victims online. Please do not fall for it.
  4. Never accept the friends request from the unknown people without proper scrutiny and this is applicable for male as well female both. It may start with just accepting the request but it could land up in losing something more valuable, there are cases of people have lost their lives in the bargains.
  5. Missed calls from abroad is a trap, never call back those numbers as it may amount to shoot up your mobile bills to thousands of rupees.
  6. The major targets of these criminals are the middle-aged man and the elderly woman who have enough funds to squeeze out from and these criminals set the trap using social media to get in touch with their victims.
  7. The communication for business association, supply of materials or handling their businesses in India is another trap, the above case could be the classic example of the same as the police guy used to handle their business from India and handover the money to them taking his commission and it is quite possible that those Nigerians trapped him without his knowledge.
  8. The criminals keep inventing new techniques every day as that is what their job is and those 419nrs do nothing but eat, sleep and cheat online most of the time by trapping people. For them the millions of people who are online every day are the potential marketplace, so please be aware.
  9. Reply to any email offering you good money or highly paid jobs which may need your personal and bank details is a trap please do not fall for it until you cross check everything properly about their existence.
  10. Remember one thing, nobody pays you for not doing anything if someone tells you that you have won the lottery and you are aware that you have not bought that lottery ticket then it’s the trap. Despite knowing this as much as 40%, people fall prey to lottery trap by Nigerians.

By Rajesh Ghadge

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