- Eleven individuals who participated in an investment scam ring were arrested today in Delhi, India.
- The crooks used apps that tricked people into believing they had made valid investments.
- Instead, all investments went straight to the bank accounts of shell companies controlled by the scammers.
The cybersecurity unit of the Delhi Police has arrested 11 individuals, two of whom are Chartered Accountants working for Chinese nationals. The men were involved in a massive scamming operation that used bogus investment apps such as “Sun Factory,” “EZ Plan,” and “Power Bank.”
According to the police report, the apps defrauded Indian nationals of 150 crore, which is approximately $20.5 million, so the financial damage to the people who got cheated was significant. As for the number of those people, that would be about 500,000.
With the help of their expert accomplices, the scammers established and operated 25 shell companies, which in turn had multiple bank accounts to act as bouncing points for the money. The actors hoped that this way, any regulatory authority looking to scrutinize the transactions would lose the trace, and for a significant period of time, this was indeed the case. The police also confiscated 30 mobile phones and several dummy mobile numbers used by the scammers.
In the case of Power Bank, the police investigators were actually shocked to find out that it enjoyed a very prominent position on the Play Store, ranking high on the list with the “best finance” apps. None of these apps are still available on the official Android app store, but that’s hardly any consolation for those who have already lost their money on them.
It didn’t take much investigation to figure out they had been scammed for these people, but some failed to realize it due to the tricky nature of the operation. Whenever the user made a supposed investment through the app, the software updated their wallets to show the correct amount, but the actual money was never in their accounts.
Instead, it went straight to the bank accounts of the shell companies controlled by the scammers. The users were promised extra investment output if they brought more people aboard, and so many did, promoting the apps to their friends, coworkers, and family.
As the police clarified, more arrests will follow as those 11 individuals weren’t the only ones involved in the massive investment scheme. Those who have been cuffed now will certainly have some interesting things to reveal to the interrogators, while the money-tracing effort will continue in the Delhi Police offices.