Delhi: Eight detained for extortion using ‘loan app’

Eight people, including a Chinese national, have been arrested in Delhi, Jodhpur and Gurgaon for allegedly extorting people under the guise of giving them loans, police said.

During the investigation, police discovered that the accused had installed malware on the victims’ phones and hacked into them. They accessed personal data and used it to extort their victims, police said.

DCP KPS ​​Malhotra said it received a complaint from a woman alleging she was threatened by strangers who sent her transformed photos to her family and friends via social media: “She told the police that she had taken out a loan through an app and repaid it. Soon after, she started receiving threatening calls and WhatsApp messages from app employees. We discovered that the scammers allegedly used the profile picture of a senior police officer.

Malhotra said the loan application was analyzed and found to be “malicious” – it would steal a person’s contact details, contacts/photos and send them to a third party.

“Money trails of the alleged transaction were established and it was found that the money was transferred to a current account opened in the name of (a company)… the account was found in the name of (one of the accused). In the alleged account, Rs 8.45 crore was credited in just about 15 days and the same was simultaneously transferred to other accounts,” Malhotra said.

Raids were carried out and four men were arrested. At their request, two people, including a woman, were arrested. “Later another accused was arrested in Jodhpur. He is the mastermind in India who provided bank accounts to the alleged Chinese national, who was arrested in Jodhpur. We discovered that the defrauded amount was sent to China via cryptocurrency,” Malhotra said. The other two defendants were arrested later, he said.

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