Mumbai: Malad Police have arrested two members of a large Delhi-based syndicate, which cheated scores of people after acquiring their bank details and one-time passwords (OTP) under various pretexts. During the probe, police busted a fake call centre operating from Janakpuri in New Delhi, which duped a Malad-based youth of Rs 2.4 lakh. The duo was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for cheating.
A young professional, Manish Mahadik, had enrolled with the online job portal Naukri.com in 2017. He paid a registration fee of Rs 4,200 for job listings related to his profession. On November 8, Mahadik received a call, purportedly from Naukri.com, which was willing to refund his registration fee as he did not get a job through its assistance.
Mahadik was asked to share his bank details to receive the refund and he unsuspectingly obliged. He then received a refund of Rs 10. When Mahadik confirmed having received the refund, he was asked to share the OTP to initiate further refund. He continued to received a series of OTPs which he shared with the caller, as each time he was informed that the earlier ones had 'failed'. Shortly after, he realised that Rs 2.40 lakh had been debited from his account. He immediately went to Malad police station and lodged a case of cheating against unknown persons.
A police team led by Assistant Police Inspector Vivek Tambe began the probe and found that the calls Mahadik received were made from Janakpuri area in old Delhi. Further investigation revealed that the SIM cards of the said numbers were purchased usisng fake identity cards. As the case progressed, API Tambe realised, the fraud was carried out by sending debit links and money was transferred through e-wallets like Google Pay and Paytm.
Investigations revealed that a third party website, NoBroker.in, was used to siphon off money. This site does not verify the legitimacy of the account through the standard 'Know Your Customer' (KYC) protocol. "It was found that the money was first siphoned off from the bank account to NoBroker.in and was later transferred to a Paytm account. This money was then channelised through a number of Paytm accounts and then encashed at a local money transfer centre -- a Jan Seva Kendra -- which is available at every other corner in Delhi," said API Tambe.
Accordingly, API Tambe formed a team of Constables Mhaske and Ashok Konde, who reached Delhi to keep a close eye on such Jan Seva Kendras. Earlier this week, police trapped Vishal Sharma, 35, who had come to one such centre to encash the Paytm money and was held. It was revealed that Sharma had played the role of a SIM provider, who also lured other criminals to share their bank account details for the con and get a 10 per cent share from the amount.
Then police laid another trap for an accused who was tracking their movements and arrested Dilshad Ali Khan, 28, who played the role of a trainer/recruiter. After Khan's arrest, it was revealed that the syndicate operated from a fake call centre, in different parts of Delhi. The employees of this call centre were mostly youngsters desperately in need of jobs.
They would lure people on the pretext of giving out loans, gift cards, credit cards and job oppportunities and only to dupe them of lakhs of rupees. Police have arrested Sharma and Khan, while others in the syndicate are yet to be arrested.
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