Indian Police Bust International Bitcoin Extortion Rackets, 96 Arrested

96 people were reportedly arrested in India for allegedly extorting Bitcoin from foreigners. They set up illegal call centers, introduced themselves as police officers, and informed the victims that their bank accounts had been used for illegal transactions. They also threatened to arrest the victims immediately and freeze their assets.

Bitcoin blackmailer arrested in India

Police in Delhi reportedly arrested 96 people for allegedly extorting Bitcoin from foreigners through fake call center programs. According to local media, 54 people were arrested for running a call center in West Delhi’s Moti Nagar area and 42 for running a similar program in Peeragarhi.

The Moti Nagar operation was administered out of Dubai, PTI reported last week, adding that more than 4,500 people have been defrauded of around 100 rupees, according to police.

Victims were told that their details became known in a criminal case and that their bank accounts were used in illegal transactions to fund drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia, the Commissioner of Police (DCP) said. The scammers then warned the victims that their bank accounts and other assets would be frozen and they would be arrested immediately.

The scammers gave victims two options – take legal action or accept alternative dispute resolution – and stressed that the latter option would be easier and faster. After choosing the dispute resolution option, victims were asked to provide financial details such as bank account numbers and the amount of money in the accounts.

Meanwhile, victims have been told that the only way to protect their finances is to buy bitcoins or gift cards with all of the money in their bank accounts. The DCP stated that the bitcoins were then transferred to the wallets controlled by the call center, but the victims were told that the government wallets were secure.

Cybercrime DCP MP Anyesh Roy announced that a raid and arrests have been made. Eighty-nine desktop computers and a server facility were also found and confiscated on site.

Police said that during the interrogation, the defendant announced that he had contacted foreigners, including US citizens. They posed as law enforcement officers or officials from other government agencies such as the United States Social Security, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, and the US Marshals Service.

What do you think of this bitcoin blackmail scheme? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

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