Gamers in Delhi easy prey for cyber con – India Today

Last week, a Gurugram businessman lost a huge sum of money to his son’s addiction to online gaming. The Class X student had given UPI details of his account to an anonymous cyber crook who promised gaming currencies in return.

In July, a Punjab youth took his craze for mobile games to a different level by spending Rs 16 lakh from his father’s account to buy virtual ammunition. Prior to that fraud, a motorbike mechanic lost Rs 50,000 after his 15-year-old son withdrew the money from his bank account to purchase a PUBG game controller as well as weapons.

If you are glued to online mobile gaming during coronavirus curbs, beware! Cybercriminals are now looking for targets on popular platforms and duping addicts with promises of gaming points, coins or virtual currency that players need to customise their gaming avatars.

The popularity for online gaming has surged during the pandemic and gained mainstream recognition. And hackers are making a killing by trapping and duping youngsters.


Cyber crime investigators say Garena Free Fire and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Fortnite are online multiplayer survival games and let players talk, chat and engage with random participants.

These games are usually free but have features to build the player’s virtual character through points used to “buy” clothes, cars, and weapons.

In-game currencies can be used to get exclusive customisation, and complete missions and challenges or levels. All this could also be done by spending real money.

A Delhi Police official said as the number of gamers and the time spent on games have shot up drastically, cybercriminals have found a new breeding ground on online gaming platforms.

“Most victims are not coming forward as kids are involved in these frauds. Parents must keep banking details from children,” he said.


Delhi-based cyber security expert Amit Dubey, while investigating a case, found thousands of fake websites, social media pages and chat groups that had people buying and selling gaming currencies.

“While tracking a case of missing money from the bank account of a south Delhi couple, I found the trail to Rajasthan. These criminals have made several Instagram and Facebook accounts where they post videos of latest tasks and customisation to lure young gamers. They offer in-game currencies at cheap prices but after gaining access to banking details they withdraw money and go underground.”


In a case which was cracked by the Uttar Pradesh Police, it was found that the craze for being ahead of another gamer is pushing gaming enthusiasts to crime. A final year graduation student was arrested for duping gamers across India.

UP cops arrested another gamer for duping a resident of Rs 8 lakh. After a detailed analysis, it was found that the criminals targeted the boy who started spending more time on mobile gaming during the lockdown.

“The minor was addicted to online games. He was trapped while playing Free Fire. Criminals promised to give him a huge amount of virtual points and asked for his father’s card and e-wallet details. Rs 8 lakh was withdrawn from the victim’s account in installments,” said senior UP Police official Triveni Singh.

The father did not know about these transactions. It was only when he went to the bank to update his passbook, he found the money missing.

After digital surveillance, a 20-year-old student from Agra was arrested. During interrogation, he confessed that he got drawn into gaming during the lockdown and duped gamers as he had to qualify different levels.

Singh warned that online gamers and their parents should be extra careful. “These days, mobiles are connected to banking apps, e-wallets, social networking sites. One shouldn’t play games with unknown people or give out personal or banking details,” he said.

“Clicking on any link can also compromise the phone. This means one can fall victim to banking and social media frauds,” Singh said.


A Delhi Police officer told Mail Today that it is difficult to track most accused because of the features of games. Gamers also use anonymous chatting applications.

Communications are encrypted and servers are based in foreign countries. However, not all purchases of in-game currencies are illegal. Experts claim there are forums and apps that provide legit payment systems but parents must ensure monitoring of these transactions.

The Jharkhand Police couldn’t do much in the case of a Class 11 student who lost Rs 6.32 lakh while playing an online multiplayer game. He purchased ingame outfits and weapons. He told cops he needed a warrior’s outfit and advanced weapons to go ahead and used his father’s card. Officials said all transfers were done legally, so it was not a case of online fraud.

“Gaming has seen a huge growth and most gamers are teenagers or below 25. They are crazy about these games and go to the extent of spending real money to get virtual currencies. Parents must monitor these online payments,” Dubey said.

The Indian online gaming industry is growing at an exponential rate and is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2021, according to Google-KMPG.

Online gaming has gained a strong foothold within the Indian entertainment industry. With a projected user base of more than 628 million gamers, this gives a whole new boost to the gaming ecosystem within the Indian economy.

With the number of gamers exponentially increasing every year, the gaming industry has become one of the most susceptible ones to cyber frauds.

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