Indian nationals rescued from cyber scam captivity in Cambodia

Estimated read time 3 min read

A | a-+=

In a recent turn of events that sounds like a plot straight out of a cyber thriller, the Indian government has successfully rescued and repatriated approximately 250 of its citizens who were ensnared in a web of cyber scams in Cambodia. These individuals were promised lucrative job opportunities but were instead coerced into engaging in illegal cyber activities.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) revealed that over the past three months, they have rescued 75 Indian nationals from the clutches of cyber slavery in Cambodia. These victims were forced to participate in fraudulent schemes under threats and inhumane conditions.

Working in close collaboration with Cambodian authorities and agencies in India, the government is actively cracking down on the criminal syndicates responsible for orchestrating these fraudulent activities. This decisive action comes in response to alarming reports that more than 5,000 Indians were trapped in Cambodia, subjected to cyber slavery by organized crime rackets.

According to the Indian Express, these criminal enterprises coerced their victims into scamming people in India and extorting money, sometimes even posing as law enforcement authorities. INTERPOL has also characterized the situation as human trafficking-fueled fraud on an industrial scale, shedding light on the severity of the issue.

The victims’ stories are harrowing. One individual from Telangana was lured to Southeast Asia, where he was forced into online fraud schemes and held captive until his family paid a ransom for his release. Another victim, recruited for a data entry job, was coerced into creating fake social media accounts to deceive people.

Similar rescue efforts have been undertaken by China and the Philippines, freeing hundreds of Filipinos, Chinese, and other foreign nationals trapped in similar criminal activities. These schemes, often referred to as “pig butchering scams,” involve scammers posing as romantic partners to gain their victims’ trust and steal their funds.

The extent of the criminal enterprise is staggering. According to a report by Chainalysis, a gang operating out of Myanmar has received close to $100 million in crypto inflows, including ransom payments made by families of trafficked workers. The exploitation of Ethereum’s CREATE2 function by threat actors to bypass security measures and steal cryptocurrencies adds another layer of complexity to the issue.

The revelations from Check Point about threat actors exploiting Ethereum’s CREATE2 function highlight the urgent need to address these criminal activities. By tricking users into approving transactions for smart contracts that have yet to be deployed, cybercriminals can later deploy malicious contracts and steal cryptocurrencies.

The rescue efforts in Cambodia serve as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by cybercrime and the importance of international cooperation in combating such illicit activities. As governments and law enforcement agencies continue to tackle these challenges, the plight of the victims underscores the need for greater awareness and vigilance in the digital age.

(Source: BBC | Hacker News | Voice of America | Indian Express)

You May Also Like