Delhi Police has arrested a Nigerian national for allegedly being involved in hacking people’s WhatsApp accounts and defrauding them.
The accused, Okwudiri Paschal, was arrested after a former bureaucrat lodged a complaint with the police station.
The accused was a part of a group operating from Nigeria that hunts individuals through social media, police said.
According to the complainant, he received a WhatsApp message stating that the facilities on WhatsApp are being upgraded for which system is generating a 6-digit code. When the complainant typed his mobile number followed by the 6-digit code provided in the message, his WhatsApp account stopped functioning, intending it was hacked, police said.
According to police the group that is operating from Nigeria, hunts individuals through social media like Facebook before zeroing in on the individuals. They used to target affluent people, police said.
After selecting the targets, their contact numbers were accessed. Once an account was hacked, their WhatsApp ID was used to send messages to their contact posing any financial need, police said.
Delhi Police has also learnt that from generating the 6-digit code to sending messages, the backend work is operated entirely from Nigeria. The police are exploring legal avenues to nab the group operating from Nigeria, said police.
The bank account detail where money was transferred by victims was accessed from the complainant. The bank account was traced to Bengaluru, police said.
Following this, a joint team of Delhi Police laid a trap near ATMs located in Bengaluru’s Banaswadi from where transactions in the said bank account were noticed.
On 16 November, when the accused came to withdraw money, the police team nabbed him. Seven ATM cards, numerous SIM cards and four mobile phones were recovered from his possession, police said.
During interrogation, it was learned that the group cheated over hundreds of people throughout India, police said.