The Delhi Police arrested a former call center employee and two Nigerian nationals for allegedly running an Internet phishing racket on Tuesday. According to sources, the trio had siphoned Rs 33.5 lakh from the accounts of more than 30 people across the country after hacking into 23 bank accounts in the past two months.
Investigations revealed that they had sent over one lakh e-mails to HDFC Bank customers using fake the company’s fake logos, asking them to provide details of their “bank accounts” and “passwords”. “They used the information to transfer money from the customer’s accounts to fake accounts they had opened and withdrew them later,” a police official said.
The trio has been identified as Ibimina Joshua, 38, Fellx Awatefe, 33, (both Nigerian nationals), and Nurul Huda Khan, 26. The Special Operation Squad (SOS) of the Crime Branch arrested the accused on Tuesday evening with the help of the Risk Control Unit of HDFC Bank.
“A Kalkaji based customer of the bank complained that Rs 1.75 lakh had been transferred from his account to one Manuram Basumatari in March. The bank noticed that four such cases of phishing had also been reported from Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai,” said Anil Shukla, DCP (crime).
“To rectify the ‘systemic errors’ in their account, the gang asked the account holder to provide details of their accounts once again. Then they transferred money yet again from the accounts of those who responded to these mails,” Shukla explained.
The money was transferred to the account of acquaintances. “The acquaintances withdrew the money and handed them over to Khan who passed it on to Joshua. Then the money would be given to Awatefe, Mike and Obruche, the two other Nigerian members of the gang.