Police bust a gang of seven for misusing social media to swindle people out of moneyValley records 25 cases related to fraud during the three months of this lockdown.
The Kathmandu Metropolitan Crime Division of Nepal Police on Wednesday arrested seven people for their alleged involvement in an online lottery scam.
“The scammers used to message the victims through online mediums like Viber, Whatsapp and Imo and tell them that they had won a lottery worth Rs 4 million,” said Superintendent of Police, Ishwar Karki, spokesperson for the division. “The victims who replied to the text were then told to deposit some amount to withdraw the lottery cash.”
The division opened an investigation into the case after several people filed a complaint.
“Our investigation has found that these people have swindled over Rs 10 million from the victims.”
Police have identified the arrestees as Pukar Barma, 24, of Jhapa, Navin Bhandari, 22, of Kavre, Aakash Agrawal, 19, of Rautahat, MD Sarfaraz, 22, of Bihar state of India, Ash Agrwal, 18, of Rautahat, Krishna Prasad Sah, 30, of Parsa and Sunil Sah, 20, of Parsa.
“Some of the victims had even taken loans to pay the scammers,” Karki said. “We suspect the involvement of other people, including Indian nationals, in this racket.”
To avoid falling prey to online scams, police have advised the public to be careful when befriending strangers online.
“If anyone receives a phone call or text where the other person asks for money, it is likely that the other person is a scamner,” said Superintendent of Police Rajkumar KC, of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range. “They should stop communicating with that person and file a police complaint.”
The data provided by Metropolitan Police Office, Ranipokhari, shows that during the past three months of the lockdown, there have been 25 cases related to scams and frauds.
The data maintained by the Nepal Police Headquarters also shows that the number of fraud cases has been rising in recent years.
Police recorded 368 cases related to fraud across the country in the fiscal year 2016/17. The number of cases rose to 542 in the fiscal year 2017/18. In the fiscal year 2018/19, the police registered 627 cases related to fraud, the data showed.