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India POS defrauded of over Rs 1.71 crore using Indonesian POS email

On the basis of a complaint received by one of the Indian POS officials, an FIR, under IPC section 419, 420 and section 66C/66D under IT Act 2000, has been registered and investigation is underway.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Cybercrime is not only a threat to the common man but at times even ministries and Central government agencies also fall prey to it. In one of the most shocking cases of fraud that came to light of late, Indian postal operators’ service (POS) has been duped of more than Rs 1.71 crore on the pretext of account settlement with an Indonesian POS.

What is even more shocking is the modus operandi employed by the criminals to defraud the POS. They sent mail through the official email Id of Indonesia POS. After the India POS officials came to know about the fraud, they complained about it to Delhi Police’s Cyber Prevention Awareness Detection (CyPad) unit.

On the basis of a complaint received by one of the Indian POS officials, an FIR, under IPC section 419, 420 and section 66C/66D under IT Act 2000, has been registered and investigation is underway.

According to a senior police official, a complaint by DDG (deputy directors general) Prannoy Sharma was received on April 13 this year regarding a suspected financial bank fraud through official email Id. “An email requesting the payment in favour of Indonesia POS was received on May 25, 2021. The email ID which was used to communicate was the same email ID which was used for the communication by Indonesian POS with India POS since 2017,” Prannoy Sharma said.

He further said, “Following this email, the Department of Posts started the regular procedure of verification of the documents, and after the verification of the amount requested by Indonesia POS, request was made by India POS to share their account details.”

According to the complainant, on February 25, through the same email Id, it was communicated that the bank account of Indonesia POS is undergoing OCA Tax Audit, and hence cannot accept any payment at that time. It’s therefore requested to acknowledge the email so that they can send intermediary bank details.

After receiving the acknowledgement by the DAA section (International mail accounting section of the department), the intermediary bank account of Royal Bank of Scotland based in the UK was shared. Based on the new bank details, the department of India POS made a swift transfer of 162122.92 SDR (Rs. 1,71,70,775/-) through the State Bank of India, foreign exchange division.

Indonesia POS denied communication…
The Indian POS DDG stated that after the payment, the same was conveyed to the POS Indonesia upon which an email was received on March 28 from the same email Id stating that there has been no change in their bank account since 2019.

The Indonesia POS even denied any communication being made from their side regarding the changed bank account. Suspecting a possible financial bank fraud, the Department of Posts has shared with POS Indonesia all the communication details regarding the transfer of money with a request to take up the case with their IT team.

Account settlement is done quarterly or Annually…
According to an Indian POS official, the settlement of the account between Indian POS and Indonesian POS is done quarterly or annually. The communication for the same is done officially through an official email Id used by POS Indonesia.

The email Id used by the fraudsters to communicate is the same that is being used by POS Indonesia since 2017. An investigating team formed to probe the case has not ruled out the involvement of some of the Indonesia POS officials. The matter is still under investigation. If this turns out to be true during the investigation, action will be taken accordingly.

System hacking is suspected…
According to the investigating team, a preliminary enquiry points to the possibility that the Indonesia POS system has been hacked by fraudsters. If the initial reports are to be believed, the fraud is being done by hacking the Indonesia POS system. After hacking the system, the cheats sent the mail to India POS through the official email Id and requested an account settlement payment. When the Indian POS replied to the same, they provided another bank account for payment with an excuse of audit to the previous account and cheated the government.