Woman doctor loses Rs 40L after being ‘digitally arrested’

Lucknow: A professor in a government medical university in Uttar Pradesh found herself caught in a ‘digital arrest’ scam and had to shell out Rs 40 lakh.

A ‘digital arrest’ is a deceptive tactic used by cybercriminals to exploit people under the guise of law enforcement or investigative agencies.

According to the woman’s statement, she received a call on March 11, purportedly from Maharashtra.

The caller alleged that a phone number issued under her ID in July 2023 was involved in illegal activities, including text message scams, phishing and money laundering.

Subsequently, the call was transferred to another individual claiming to be from Maharashtra police headquarters, who accused her of opening a fraudulent account in Canara Bank, Mumbai, leading to money laundering activities and spoke about issuance of an arrest warrant in her name, said the police, based on the FIR.

The caller also threatened her that all her financial cards, PAN and Aadhaar had been blocked.

“An arrest warrant has been issued in your name. All your financial accounts will be frozen and they will be investigated. Till then you are put under ‘digital arrest’. After that they called me on Skype and showed me many documents which included my phone number, Aadhaar number and which also included my arrest warrant,” she said.

The doctor was coerced into transferring money from her bank accounts to account numbers provided by scammers.

“A staggering amount of Rs 31.31 lakh was transferred by her on March 11, followed by Rs 9 lakh from another account the next day,” police said.

Furthermore, the scammers instructed the woman to maintain constant communication, provide personal information and refrain from contacting anyone else, citing national security concerns and the purported involvement of police and bank officials in the scam, police said.

Upon realising she had fallen victim to cyber fraud, she promptly reported the incident to the cybercrime police station and filed a formal complaint. Later, an FIR was registered.

The professor, who is a widow, had saved the money for her kids’ studies and her future.

Former SP in Cyber Cell and cyber expert, Triveni Singh said that people should be aware that no legitimate agency will request presence on a Skype call for matters of investigation or arrest. There is nothing like a ‘digital arrest’.


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