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Updated December 30th, 2023 at 12:12 IST

Law College dropout posing as lawyer arrested for defrauding on promise of de-freezing bank accounts

The accused exploited the trust of his victims, drawing them in through a fabricated website.

Reported by: Aaquil Jameel
fraud
Representative | Image:Republic
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New Delhi: In a significant victory for the Delhi Police, they have apprehended a dropout from a law college who orchestrated fraudulent schemes, deceiving many for his monetary gain. The arrest was executed by the PS Cyber unit in South district. The accused, identified as Prateek Dahiya, was a former student of the National Law University Bhopal.

Dahiya's modus operandi involved posing as a Supreme Court advocate, duping individuals across India by promising to de-freeze bank accounts blocked by various legal entities. He exploited the trust of his victims, drawing them in through a fabricated website. Upon uncovering this deceitful operation, law enforcement swiftly filed an FIR against Dahiya. They seized crucial evidence, including a mobile phone utilised in the crimes, four debit cards, one Aadhaar card, and a SIM card—all instrumental in executing the fraudulent activities.

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Unraveling the crime

The narrative of this crime unfolded when law enforcement received a complaint detailing the victim's harrowing experience. The complainant, whose bank account had been blocked from the NCRP Portal due to a Binance transaction, sought a solution online. During this search, the victim stumbled upon a website purportedly owned by the perpetrator, posing as a Supreme Court advocate.

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Tragically, the victim fell prey to the scam, lured by the false promises of the accused to de-freeze the blocked account. The fraudster demanded fees under the guise of various charges, even furnishing fabricated screenshots of emails allegedly sent from the official government email ID of the Cyber Police Station, South Delhi. This incident prompted an immediate probe, and a specialised team was mobilised to track down the culprit.

The police meticulously pieced together the money trail from the defrauded accounts into the fraudster's bank accounts. They also gathered critical data such as CAF/CDR (Customer Application Form/Call Data Records) from the mobile number used in contacting the complainant. This data underwent rigorous scrutiny under extensive surveillance.

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The investigation unveiled a pattern of similar complaints nationwide, all executed through the same deceitful modus operandi. The fraudster specifically targeted individuals whose accounts were restricted by legal agencies across India. With thorough scrutiny of call details and meticulously tracing the money flow, law enforcement successfully pinpointed the accused's location at the EWS Flats in Delhi's Narela. In a swift operation following the discovery, the police conducted a raid resulting in the apprehension of the accused. 

The modus operandi

During the comprehensive investigation into the accused's activities, revelations shed light on the modus operandi employed by Prateek, the main perpetrator behind the fraudulent schemes. According to reports emerging from the investigation, the accused confessed to being inspired to dupe individuals after facing a similar situation himself. Prateek recounted an incident where his own bank account was frozen by a legal agency in connection with a cyber fraud complaint. He claimed to have sought assistance from an advocate to de-freeze his account, gaining insights into navigating legal entities in the process. It was from this experience that he derived the idea of orchestrating deceitful schemes, culminating in the creation of a fake website to lure potential victims.

The accused, identified as Prateek, disclosed his method of operation. He admitted to opening multiple accounts using forged documents to receive money from unsuspecting victims. Subsequently, he would fabricate screenshots of emails purportedly sent from official government email IDs, tricking the victims into believing that their issues were being addressed. However, after a brief period, he would block all communication with the victims.

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Additionally, Prateek confessed to defrauding over a hundred individuals through this intricate and deceitful modus operandi. Shockingly, he divulged that the ill-gotten gains from these fraudulent activities were squandered entirely on online cricket betting.

 

 

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Published December 30th, 2023 at 00:09 IST

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