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Data of 14 lakh people breached, online buyers duped of Rs 200 crore

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The Uttar Pradesh police’s Special Task Force (STF) has said it has nabbed the kingpin of a gang that procured data of 14 lakh customers illegally and allegedly duped people to the tune of Rs 200 crore through online fraud over a period of time. Nandan Rao Patel, arrested by the Noida field unit of the STF, used to procure the data of clients of major online shopping companies and sell them to fake call centres, police officials said.

The first related case was registered in Varanasi in 2008, they said. Explaining the modus operandi, STF Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajkumar Mishra said that Patel was the “director” of a digital promotion and bulk SMS firm by the name of Anic World Company.

“He would get the (consumer) data hacked through people he knew and buy it for Rs 2-3 per customer. He would sell this data to fake call centres, duping online buyers in Delhi-NCR, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, etc for Rs 5-6 per customer,” Mishra said.

He said Patel and his gang would target customers of online shopping sites like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Paytm, Snapdeal, Shopclues, HomeShop18 etc, besides general and life insurance companies. The officer further said that scam callers would call innocent persons, giving an impression that they are from online shopping and insurance companies and wanted to transfer them money.

“The gang used to lure people by offering them fake lucky draws and expensive gifts against the online shopping they would have recently made. They further ask them to deposit a certain amount as registration fees in order to claim their gift,” he added.

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