Delhi Police Cyber ââCell has arrested a Nigerian national for allegedly hacking people’s phones and sending distress messages to WhatsApp contacts looking for money, police said on Monday. Police caught Chimelum Emmanuel Aniwetalu aka Maurice Degri who, along with others, led the union from Delhi and Bengaluru, they said.
Another defendant has also been identified, police said, adding that raids were underway to arrest him.
Police say the case came to light after the Cyber ââCell unit received a complaint from a victim who claimed his cell phone was hacked by strangers. He alleged that after taking control of his phone, the accused posed as a victim and started asking people on the WhatsApp contact list for money by sending them distress messages , police said. The complainant further alleged that the accused contacted those who were on the hacked mobile’s WhatsApp and also provided them with a back account to transfer money, police said. Deputy Police Commissioner (Cyber ââCell) KPS Malhotra said technical and human intelligence identified one of the defendants and that he was arrested under the appropriate section of the law. A total of 15 cell phones and a laptop computer were also seized in his possession, he said.
Through the laptop seized from the defendants, we discovered that they were using applications that are used to design various malicious links, he said. These links disguised as an app were sent to the victim’s devices, officials said. The accused has created a dedicated application for each victim which, once downloaded and installed on the victim’s phone, sends their contacts, call logs and text messages to the accused server, the officer explained.
Further questioning of the accused also revealed his most important modus operandi, which involved posing as a girl and then befriending other people on social media sites, police said. Once the person developed trust, the accused would then send a link, which was previously disguised in some way, Malhotra said.
âOnce the person clicks on that link, they lose control of their social media profiles. Afterwards, Emmanuel used social media accounts for his nefarious purposes. The accused also deceived people under the pretext of selling herbal seeds, ” the DCP said.
Emmanuel is from Nigeria and his visa expired in 2018. Police said the accused created false documents and was also booked under the Aliens Act. The owner of the house, who had rented his premises to the accused, was also booked accordingly, police added.
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