Four scamsters arrested for posing as Finance officials to dupe nearly 3,000 people

The gang used forged documents of the Ministry of Finance bearing the signature of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, RBI Regional Director SMN Swamy, the IRDA (Bima Lokpal) and officials from various life insurance companies, the police said.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 06:01 PM IST
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Four men were arrested for allegedly posing as Ministry of Finance officials and cheating people using forged government documents, police said on Tuesday.

With the arrest of Mehtab Alam (33), Sartaj Khan (31), Mohd Junaid (29) and Deen Mohd (27), the police also claimed to have unearthed a data sheet of approximately 3,000 potential victims.

The mastermind

All the accused have previous experience of working at insurance companies, the police said. Alam, the alleged kingpin, also has experience in dealing with websites and email registration.

He convinced his associates to work with him to earn easy money. They fraudulently obtained insurance policyholder data and started contacting them with fake email IDs created in the name of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

Forged documents

The gang used forged documents of the Ministry of Finance bearing the signature of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, RBI Regional Director SMN Swamy, the IRDA (Bima Lokpal) and officials from various life insurance companies, the police said.

How did the scam people?

The accused collected data from insurance companies and targeted the victims by sending forged documents and cheques to entice and dupe the policyholders.

The matter came to light after the Ministry of Finance, which also received a fake letter issued in its name and bearing Sitharaman's signature, highlighted the issue. Similar complaints were also received during the inquiry.

The police said one victim was duped of Rs 127,000 using the same modus operandi.

How were the arrests made?

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations) Prashant Gautam said after analysing the technical aspects and cyber trailing, the team zeroed in on the location and identity of the alleged fraudsters.

Despite the accused constantly changing their locations, the police managed to arrest Alam from New Delhi's Mustafabad following a raid. Later, his three associates were arrested, Gautam said.

Elaborating on the gang's modus operandi, Gautam said the accused used to call the insurance policyholders posing as IRDA, RBI and Ministry of Finance officials and lured them on the pretext of providing maturity amount against their existing or lapsed policies.

"In order to convince the policy holders, they sent them emails using IDs similar to that of government financial institutions with forged documents seemingly issued from the RBI, Ministry of Finance and the IRDA," Gautam said.

They also sent forged cheques by post to the victims in order to induce them. After that, they asked for charges, including processing, no-objection and fund releasing.

"Upon getting the cheques, the victims transferred the amount into the accounts provided by the accused persons and then the accused would withdraw the amount from different locations in Delhi," the senior police official said.

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