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Loan-sextortion app: Server managers held in Ahmedabad | Ahmedabad News | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

AHMEDABAD: Cybercrime police of the city arrested two persons who allegedly managed a server which was used for a loan-sextortion racket. The cybercriminals in this case allegedly extorted money from people who had applied for loans online, by morphing the photographs that they submitted onto obscene images.
The victims would then be extorted with the threat of these morphed obscene images being sent to people on their contact lists. The server was located in Noida, UP, while the app had been uploaded from China.
The two men arrested are Vijay Kumbhar, 38, a resident of Pune, and Gauravsingh Madansingh, a resident of Noida, UP, who investigators say were managing the app server.
Cybercrime officials said this sextortion racket through loan apps is widespread. On receiving an application of complaint, investigators carried out technical surveillance and zeroed in on the server. The duo are accused of providing the names and contact numbers of the victims to those who would call them and extort money from them using the morphed pictures. The duo also apparently provided such callers internet facilities, as the extortion calls on WhatsApp originated from this server and were also routed through China.
Cybercrime investigators said Kumbhar and Gauravsingh had links to fellow racketeers in China. Cybercrime officials said the two persons arrested were part of the core group behind the racket. The group has accomplices in China. Investigators say they have recovered a lot of data, which will help them stamp out this racket.
Officials said two members of this core group are Indians living in China. Investigators have leads on the other accomplices, who will be tracked down and arrested soon. Officials say Kumbhar and Gauravsingh were paid Rs 2 lakh per month each.
Kumbhar was running a company in Pune that provided technical assistance on IT matters and was also managing the server.
Cybercrime investigators said that a resident of the Ambawadi area of the city, filed an application with them stating that on January 16 he was offered a loan of Rs 3,000 through an app called “Top Loan”. He had also borrowed from some other mobile applications. As the applicant could not return the money in time, he started getting calls for recovery.
The applicant said that the photograph he had uploaded while taking the loan had been morphed. He was threatened with the circulation of this image among his friends and relatives. Cybercrime investigators said three such complaints are being investigated.


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