Hackers spoof embassy caller ID in Netherlands to dupe Nagpurian

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Sep 2017 11:54:34


By Dheeraj Fartode,

Cyber threats and hackers have no boundaries. Now, a software professional (a woman) hailing from Nagpur and currently working in Netherlands fell victim to cyber fraud and lost Rs 1.4 lakh. Interestingly, the hackers spoofed phone number of Indian Embassy to target the woman, which shows the gravity of the matter. Also this reveals involvement of person(s) having knowledge of security dispensation system and high degree skills in hacking. The parents of the victim lady- Satav, approached the Cyber Complaint Cell of Nagpur City Police and lodged a complaint about the fraud.

Assistant Police Inspector (API) Vishal Mane informed The Hitavada that the money was transferred to account of the accused via Western Union Money transfer services. Satav was duped on Thursday and hence her parents immediately approached Cyber Cell knowing well about their skills in retrieving money in such cases in the past.

According to information, the girl hailing from Nagpur is a software engineer in Netherlands. The woman received a phone call from Indian Embassy number +31703469771 and the caller introduced himself as an embassy official. The caller told the woman that she had mentioned a wrong Date of Birth (DoB) in the passport and her Visa could be cancelled due to it.

The woman panicked and thought it would complicate matters relating to her employment and further stay in Netherlands. She immediately asked the caller, whether there was any way she could save her Visa. The caller, without wasting time, asked the software professional to pay the fine of Rs 1.4 lakh immediately for condoning and correcting the DoB. Without rethinking for a second, the woman transferred Rs 1.4 lakh to the account number given by the caller within 15 minutes through wire transfer.

She promptly dialled the number through which the call was received to ascertain whether the transaction was successful or not. But after hearing the reply, she went into shock. This time the call on the said number was lifted by an official of Indian Embassy in Netherlands and she was informed that neither did they contact any individual, nor made any call that day. After hearing out the parents of the defrauded lady Cyber Complaint Cell officials went to work and assessed preliminary data. They also contacted the Indian Embassy officials and were informed that hackers were spoofing caller id of the embassy to target the Indians living in the Netherlands. 

API Mane informed that the cheaters had hacked the phone of embassy so that the victim would treat the call as genuine. In caller ID spoofing, the caller might display a phone number different from that of the telephone from which the call was placed. The investigators have tracked the transaction details and found that the accused have withdrawn the money from her account. Now, cops are investigating the money trail in the transactions.