Major cyber-crime detected in Srinagar, 23 arrested

Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar, Jan 13 : In a major success against cyber-crime, Police today busted fake call centres in Srinagar and arrested 23 persons who have allegedly duped people by impersonating as executives of e-commerce companies.
Those who were arrested in raids conducted by the Cyber Police Kashmir are Azhar Mehraj Bhat, S/o Mehraj ud din Bhat, of Chattabal, Waris Ashia, s/o Zahoor Ahmad of Elahi Bagh Soura, Abdul Manan Khan, s/o Nazir Ahmad Khan of Nowgam Naikbagh, Fahad Furqan, s/o Furkan Ahmad Sheikh of Natipora Pamposh Colony, Fazan Zahoor Malla, s/o Zahoor Ahmad of Baghat, Habib Colony, Sheikh Owais Ahmad, s/o Late Sheikh Gh. Qadir of Pamposh Colony, Natipora, Sayed Abid, s/o Sayed Shahdab, Natipora of Azad Basti, Faisal Ahmad, s/o Mohd Ashraf Hakeem of Azadbasti Natipora, Zubair Shafi, s/o Mohd Shafi Mir of Azadbasti, Natipora, Farhan Ashiq, s/o Ashiq Ahmad Dar of Azadbasti, Natipora, Srinagar all from Secure Tech Rangreth, Srinagar, Aaqib Ashraf Hakak, s/o Mohd Ashraf Hakak of Umer Colony, Lal Bazar, Saqib Manzoor, s/o Manzoor Ahmad Najar of Railway Colony, Nowgam Byepass, Sajad Ahmad, s/o Gh Nabi Handoo of Haseebat, Rainawari A/P Shalimar, Srinagar, Basit Maqbool Yatoo, s/o Mohd Maqbool Yatoo of Dalkawpora, Rainawari, Zeeshan Ahmad Sheikh, s/o Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad of Tawheedabad, Nowshara, Amir Yousuf Koochie, s/o Mohd Yousuf Koochie of Kanitar Sadrbal, Raja Mohammad Asim, s/o Mohd Sikandar Raja of Rehbab Sahab, Alikadal A/P Budshah Nagar, Natipora, Umer Javaid Wani, s/o Javaid Ahmad Wani of Doctor Lane HMT Shalteng, Arbaz Khan, s/o Hilal Ahmad Mandoo of Chetrashahi, Shaheedgunj, all YSS Micro Technologies, Rangreth, STPI, Umar Yousuf Dar, s/o Mohd Yousuf Dar of Watalkadal Safakadal, Suhail Mushtaq Bhat, s/o Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Sheeshbagh Gojwara, Mouzam Amin Beigh, s/o Mohd Amin Beigh of Katji Masjid Lal Bazar, Mohd Altaf Khan, s/o Mohd Qasim Khan of Gutlibagh Ganderbal, all from Vortex Technology Karfali Mohalla Srinagar.
Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone, Srinagar said that they received information through reliable sources that some fake call centres are running in Kashmir Valley and accordingly the investigation into the matter was taken up by them.
“During the course of investigation, it revealed that some individuals are impersonating as executives of multinational companies under garb of bogus international call centres and are duping innocent citizens by offering them technical support and solutions to their software problems,” Police said.
The Cyber Police said that these fake call centre executives were making cold calls, and sending e-mails, pop-ups on computer screens of the victims and used to take remote access of their computers and infect their systems with malware, thus starting extorting money from them in return for help by impersonating as technical support.
“They were also making use of electronic signatures of the victims for their illegal financial gains. These fake call centres would mostly call international citizens and demand their financial and bank details illegally so as to extort money from them to cause illegal gains for themselves and subsequent losses to victims,” police said.
During the course of further investigation, police said that it surfaced that there is a huge scam of fake call centres in Srinagar City, where a good number of employees are working round the clock. “These fake call centres have been identified as Secure Tech Rangreth Srinagar, YSS Micro Technologies Rangreth and Vertex Technology, Karfalli Mohalla Srinagar,” police said.
The Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone Srinagar constituted several teams in collaboration with District Police Srinagar and conducted multiple raids in Rangreth, Karfali Mohalla Habbakadal and Natipora areas of Srinagar. During these raids, 23 accused persons involved in running of these illegal fake call centres were arrested, police said.
A case (FIR number 02/2021) under relevant sections of law has been registered at Cyber Police Station Kashmir Zone Srinagar and further investigation is in progress.
Police said that fake call centres have become a full-fledged business in India and each unit earning between Rs 5-20 lakhs per day, depending upon the size of their set-up.
“These scammers are mostly cheating people staying in foreign countries by posing as technical support executive, insurance agents, law-enforcement officers, bank officials, online shopping sites etc. The major issue is that young students are getting attracted to such call centres in lieu of the higher salary packages. These fake call centres earlier used to be limited to big cities only, however now they mushroomed in other parts of the country as well,” Cyber Police said, adding that the investigation of the case is in progress.