In a coordinated operation, Punjab Police has busted two gangs of inter-state cyber scamsters and arrested six persons, who had defrauded a large number of innocent bank customers of their hard-earned money by impersonating as bank officials. Police have recovered Rs. 8.85 lakhs in cash 11 mobile phones, 9 handsets and 100 sim cards from their possession.
According to Punjab DGP, Dinkar Gupta, while one gang, with four members, was operating from Delhi, the other two were working for a Jamtara based gang, a region in Bihar which has gained notoriety for online scams, and were active in Ludhiana. Gupta said these six scamsters were active in the region and with their arrest four cases have been solved so far.
Gupta said the entire operation was carried out by a special joint team of Cyber Cell and CIA, constituted and supervised by Sandeep Garg, SSP Sangrur, under DSP (D), Mohit Agarwal. The DGP said the kingpin of the Delhi gang, Mohd. Farid, resident of Chanakaya Place in West Delhi, was running a call centre, Platinum Vacations Pvt. Ltd., in Pankha Road area. His operations were kept under a watch and a raid at the centre led to the recovery of Rs 1,20,000 in cash, 7 Mobile Phones, 9 Handset Telephone (Beetal brand) and 90 sim cards.
Gupta said preliminary Investigations have revealed that the accused were targeting HDFC Bank account holders by portraying themselves as bank officials. They used to take personal bank related information from their victims on the pretext that their debit/credit card was expiring due to the ongoing Covid crises. After obtaining their card details and relevant OTPs sent on their mobile phones, the suspects used to transfer money from the accounts of the unsuspecting victims to their own fictitious Paytm accounts, said Gupta. He said the investigating team had also arrested some persons, who were being used to operate these fake Paytm accounts.
The DGP said besides Farid, his associates, Sanjay Kashyap @ Dada, Mukesh, and Upender Kumar Singh, all residents of West Delhi, have been arrested. An FIR no. 178 dated 27/08/2020 u/s 420 IPC, 66D IT Act, has been registered at PS City 1 Sangrur.
Gupta said the two Jamtara Gang members, Noor Ali and Pawan Kumar, residents of Mandi Gobind Garh and Basti Jodehwal respectively, were nabbed form Ludhiana. The duo also used to call people, impersonating themselves as bank officials, on the pretext of reverification of their KYC details. After seeking their victim’s banking details and OTP, they used to ask them to download a “QS Team viewer app” and switch off their mobile phones for a brief duration. During this period, they used to siphon off money from the accounts of their victims to the account of Sugal Damani Utility Services and then to the MobiKwik wallet of Noor Ali.
The money was later transferred to Pawan Kumar’s MobiKwik wallet. Pawan, who was running a business of recharging mobile phones, under the name of Bali Telecom, used this ill-gotten wealth for paying electricity bills of his numerous customers through his e-wallet, after offering them discounts, and accepting cash in exchange.
Police have recovered Rs. 7,65,000 in cash, 2 mobile phone and sim cards from their possession. The duo has been u/s 420, 120-B IPC, 66-D IT Act 2008 at PS Sadar Dhuri has been registered.
The DGP has meanwhile advised people to be very cautious while conducting online transactions and not fall prey to such scamsters by sharing their bank account details.