Based on reports, China-based scammers have nabbed more than $500 million from Indian nationals through instant lending applications, bogus cryptocurrency trading schemes, and part-time job baits.
Last month, cybersecurity authorities busted a chain of cybercriminals worth over $300 million, but the total did not include the crypto-related scams.
As told by a local media outlet, the Chinese scammers endorsed their fraud campaign via bulk text messages that the authorities saw. Moreover, few scam operators are in Nepal and work under the supervision of Chinese-affiliated threat actors. The report also revealed that the actors set up fake crypto apps and websites to bait investors into investing in their malicious operation.
The police authorities then elaborated that the part-time job offers, crypto trading fraud, and instant loan apps are being manipulated by hackers from China. In addition, SMS distributors and aggregators are also involved in the campaign, increasing attacks on a massive scale.
The China-based scammers have run off with funds by transferring money from the victims to local Indian bank accounts and digital wallets before moving the cash to an Indian crypto exchange platform.
Researchers said that the platform used for the transfer is a cryptocurrency app known as ZebPay, which is identical to the well-known platform Binance.
A few months ago, security researchers reported that the threat actors in China withdrew the stolen money.
Another Chinese-linked loan app operated in the Gurugram in northern India was seized by authorities last week. Reports say that four Indian nationals were extorting money in exchange for the false assurance of small loans.
The suspects allegedly operated call centres to execute their cybercriminal activities further and target financially and digitally incompetent individuals.
They also remained in contact with their foreign counterparts through a Chinese instant messaging application dubbed “Husys”. The investigators claimed that the suspects were declared directors and shared holds of Shell companies in India representing their Chinese counterparts.
Currently, authorities have arrested a single Indian resident, which is crucial for the entire scheme.