(PHOTO) INDIA Police Warn That Arrest Of Anigbogu Kelly Highlights A New Trend Of Nigerian Scammers. Following the arrest of Anigbogu Kelly for allegedly duping a Delhi man using a herbal seed business as front, Delhi Police have warned that Nigerian scammers have changed tactics as they target Indian people online.The fraudsters are no longer relying on phishing emails about lotteries and charity as bait, but are duping people on the pretext of partnering with MNCs (multinational companies), investing in herbal seed businesses and channelising foreign funds.
A senior Delhi Police Crime Branch officer said:
“The scamsters lure gullible targets via social networking sites such as Facebook. They then pose as diplomats or MNC executives and entice their targets to invest in a global venture, which actually does not exist. Interestingly, all dealings are done at high-secured areas such as airport and five-star hotels to give an impression of being high-flyers and avoid the risk of getting into trouble.”
The latest in the police trap is 34-year-old Anigbogu Kelly from Nigeria who was residing in New Delhi and was arrested after resistance from Patna airport this week.
Kelly was allegedly trying to get away with Rs 5 lakh from Patna resident Ajay Kumar, who had already paid Rs 5 lakh as advance for getting the distributorship of herbal seeds.
According to Uttar Pradesh, Special Task Force’s additional superintendent of police Triveni Singh:
“There are several online gangs running scams to procure seeds with medicinal values that can cure diseases, including cancer. There is no fixed narrative. Depending upon the profile of the target, the gang traps them. In the herbal seeds scam, the victim is approached online as a representative of an overseas pharmaceutical firm looking to source herbal seeds from local farmers through an agent. They promise the victim huge returns if they pay the agent upfront for the seeds. Then they disappear with the money.”
The police is also alerting that Nigerian gangs are also cheating people using fake foreign currency, revealing a batch recently seized.
One of the latest victims is Meerut’s Varun Thapar, who lost Rs 3 lakh to a Nigerian gang. Thapar went to meet the gang members at a five star hotel in Mumbai and Delhi.
According to him:
“The gang members contact through their international number or makes a WhatsApp call. The gang sounds so professional that it is difficult to make out that they are fraud.
‘I was trapped after getting a friend request from a Manchester-based female executive. I was given seed sample in Mumbai and later duped at a five-star hotel in Delhi. The trap was so perfect that I could not sense any foul play.”
During investigation, it was found that all the numbers used for communication were taken on fake identities. Police claim the gangs have developed a new trick, where they pose as diplomat or MNC executive and work in nexus with a local youth who helps them with logistics.
In a similar way, one Agra-based doctor ended up losing Rs 50 lakh after falling in trap of another Nigerian gang.
“I was approached by diamond trader from Los Angeles who wanted to invest in India. We were in touch for long, when one day he told me that he was coming with huge foreign currency and was stopped by Customs officer, who was demanding money for his release. Once I paid the initial Rs 1.5 lakh, he started making new excuses and demanded more money,” she said, asking for anonymity.
The victim said each time the gang member would make a new excuse.
“When he realised that he can siphon more money from me, he gave me a bag containing sealed foreign currency. But he cooked up a bizarre story that only after applying a chemical solution, I can use this money. Later, I found that the money was fake,” she said.
According to the police, with this new trend adopted by criminals, more and more educated people are falling victim.
“There has been an increase in such Nigerian frauds, primarily because of people’s desire for easy money. It is sad to see educated people falling prey to such fraud. This is despite our awareness campaign about such scams,” Singh said.
He explained that gangs are using virtual number generators through which they can generate any number to their phone so the receiver will have the impression that he is getting a call from foreign country.
The gang prefers to communicate through WhatsApp calls to avoid coming in police net.
‘We have received several complaints across India about Nigerian scams and are tracking couple of gangs,’ Singh said.
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