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5 Indians duped American woman of ₹3 crore by posing as Microsoft employees

Delhi residents Praful Gupta, Sarita Gupta, Kunal Almadi, Gaurav Pahwa, along with Rishabh Dixit from Kanpur, have been charged with fraud following information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to authorities.
 
 
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CBI conducted search in Dilshad Garden and Janakpuri in Delhi

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken action against five individuals who impersonated Microsoft tech support and embezzled retirement funds amounting to USD 400,000 (equivalent to Rs 3.37 crore) belonging to a US citizen. The accused individuals, namely Praful Gupta, Sarita Gupta, Kunal Almadi, Gaurav Pahwa from Delhi, and Rishabh Dixit from Kanpur, have been charged with fraud based on information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

As part of their investigation, the CBI conducted searches at various locations including Dilshad Garden and Janakpuri in Delhi, as well as Kidwai Nagar in Kanpur. The alleged incident unfolded when the victim, Lisa Roth, had her laptop hacked. In her attempt to seek assistance, she dialed a number displayed on her screen, only to be misled by someone pretending to be affiliated with Microsoft. The imposter informed her about wire transfers from her retirement account, leading to the subsequent fraudulent activity.

According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) First Information Report (FIR), the imposter who posed as a Microsoft employee advised Lisa Roth to contact Fidelity Investments. Upon calling the provided number, Roth was instructed to transfer funds from her Fidelity Investments account to a supposedly more secure account. Deceptively, during the call, the imposter gained unauthorized remote access to Roth's system and transferred a substantial amount of USD 300,000 (equivalent to Rs 2.48 crore) from her Fidelity Investments account to her account with First State Bank.

Following this, the imposter proceeded to open an account with Binance.com on Roth's behalf and directed her to wire the USD 300,000 to an account named "Prime Trust" with Binance.com. The FIR highlights that as per the instructions, Roth went to First State Bank and attempted to transfer USD 3 lakh to the mentioned "Prime Trust" account.

After a few days, Binance.com declined the initial transaction because Lisa Roth had mistakenly written 'Prime Title' instead of 'Prime Trust'. As a result, the amount was returned to her First State Bank account, according to the FIR filed by the CBI.

The CBI alleged that the imposter contacted Roth once again, advising her to transfer more money from her Fidelity Investments account to her First State Bank account. The reason given was to facilitate the transfer of USD 400,000 (equivalent to Rs 3.37 crore) to a more secure account. By gaining unauthorized remote control over Roth's system, the imposter proceeded to open an OKcoin account using her mobile number and email ID. Roth was instructed to transfer the USD 400,000 to this newly opened OKcoin account, which she did on June 7 of the previous year.

However, when Roth checked her OKcoin account a few weeks later, she discovered that her account was empty. The stolen amount had been cleverly converted into cryptocurrency and subsequently transferred to five individuals through their Binance and FTX wallets, as stated in the FIR.