Cyberabad police have arrested a group of cyber fraudsters that allegedly collected and sold personal and confidential data of 16.8 crore individuals.
“The accused have been found selling sensitive information of people belonging to 140 categories, including defence personnel, NEET students, PAN card data, information related to NEET students, and government employees,” a Cyberabad official said.
Data for sale
“The information that they are collecting and selling include consumer data and those who have applied for loans and bank accounts,” he said in a statement.
“The accused are selling the data through call centres and yellow pages services. The accused are found to be taking note of the details of those who call some toll-free numbers, seeking information about a service,” he said.
Using the numbers that they collected, fraudsters make calls to gullible people, entice them with offers, and make them share their bank credentials. He said the accused ran registered and unregistered companies to commit the crime.
“We found vast amounts of data about NEET students and PAN cards, email ids, phone numbers, and addresses of several people,” he said.
The police booked a case against seven people and seized 12 mobile phones and three laptops.
The Cyberabad police have cautioned people against sharing their personal information with strangers or on websites.
“When you are downloading any app, you should read and understand the permissions that you are giving to the app providers. Fraudulent applications seek permission to access personal information like contact details and media files (images and videos). This information can be used to commit different kinds of cyber crimes,” he said.
“You must use unique, complex passwords for each of your online accounts and update them regularly to ensure your accounts remain secure,” he pointed out.
“You must also ensure your operating system, software, and applications are updated regularly, as software updates often include security patches to protect against cyber threats,” he said.