Renowned Poet Naresh Saxena ‘Digitally Arrested’ by Fake CBI Officers, Saved by Family’s Timely Intervention – News18

Fraudsters coerced poet Naresh Saxena into a digital confinement within his own home. (Source: Facebook)

According to Saxena’s post shared on social media, the fraudster identified himself as CBI Inspector Rohan Sharma and falsely accused him of involvement in a money laundering scheme.

Renowned poet and litterateur Naresh Saxena narrowly escaped a digital extortion attempt orchestrated by fraudsters posing as CBI officers. The incident unfolded on Sunday, July 7, when Saxena was contacted via video call by individuals claiming to be from the CBI’s Mumbai branch. According to Saxena’s post shared on social media, the fraudster identified himself as CBI Inspector Rohan Sharma and falsely accused him of involvement in a money laundering scheme. He claimed that an account was opened using Saxena’s Aadhaar card details, implicating him in a criminal case. Threatening him with arrest, the fraudsters coerced the poet into a digital confinement within his own home.

The fraudsters kept me locked in a room for nearly six hours, demanding money in exchange for my release, the poet recounted in his Facebook post, adding that his family grew suspicious and intervened before any transaction could occur. During the ordeal, Saxena revealed that the impostors not only extorted him but also indulged in listening to his poetry and playing music, attempting to build rapport while perpetrating their scheme.

See the Facebook post here:

Authorities have been alerted, and investigations are underway to apprehend the perpetrators behind this elaborate scam. The rising trend of such cyber fraud involves criminals exploiting fear and misinformation, often succeeding in extorting money from innocent victims by leveraging false accusations and digital intimidation tactics. Naresh Saxena’s case underscores the importance of vigilance and immediate reporting in thwarting such cybercrimes.

The Cyber Crime Police Station of Gautam Buddh Nagar recently issued an extensive advisory to raise public awareness regarding the growing menace of cybercrime. The advisory emphasizes various prevalent scams and provides essential precautions for citizens, reported PTI. It highlighted scams involving calls from unknown or international numbers on mobile phones or WhatsApp. The caller typically impersonates officials from departments such as Customs, Narcotics, or CBI. They claim that the recipient’s documents were found in a suspicious package containing drugs, documents, clothing, an Aadhar card, and a SIM card.

Another tactic mentioned in the advisory was “digital house arrest,” where cybercriminals confine victims to their homes to deceive them. They use audio or video calls, often pretending to be law enforcement officers through AI-generated voices or video technology. “The caller alleges that the items found were involved in money laundering or hawala transactions, and the recipient’s bank accounts are under investigation. There are threats of FIR registration and Non-Bailable Warrants (NBW),” stated the police in a release, as reported by PTI.

During these calls, fraudsters typically present fake departmental IDs to build trust. They then direct the victim to connect via Skype or WhatsApp video, where they exert control and prevent them from contacting family members. Victims are coerced into transferring funds, including from their fixed deposits to the scammer’s accounts under the guise of a legal investigation.

The advisory reportedly pointed out, “In recent months, approximately ten such incidents have been reported, resulting in registered FIRs and ongoing investigations.” Initial findings indicate that these cybercriminals operate from locations in Jaipur, Bhilwara, and Bikaner in Rajasthan. The police have gathered significant leads from these areas and are actively working to dismantle the gang involved.