Six persons have been arrested by the Gurgaon police for running an online banking fraud racket. Five of the accused are women. They ran a call centre in Delhi from where they called bank customers and duped them into sharing their account details or debit or credit card information. They then used the information obtained to withdraw money from their accounts.
Police said the racket was busted after a complaint was lodged with the Gurgaon Cyber Crime Cell on August 30, 2016 by Pankaj Kumar, a resident of Sector 45 who was duped by the racket. Kumar hails from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.
In his statement to the police, Kumar said that his credit card was used for an online transaction worth Rs 45,000. He said he had been getting calls from people, who claimed to be bank employees and asked him to share his credit card for an enquiry, Sumit Kuhar, DCP (crime), Gurgaon.
The police launched an investigation and filed an FIR on Wednesday under relevant sections of the IT Act. They identified the mastermind as Amit Kumar (34), a resident of Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh. “The prime accused holds an undergraduate degree and worked at several call centres in Pune. He gathered the technical knowledge to pull off a fraud of this nature while working in these call centres,” Kuhar said.
Police said the accused also had a history of online fraud in Pune. A total of 8 people were involved in the racket that was busted by the Gurgaon police. “Two of them are on the run and raids are on to get them,” Kuhar said.
Elaborating on their modus operandi, the police said two members of the racket visited several areas of the city to collect phone numbers of bank customers. They then called them up posing to be bank employees and tricked them into sharing their account, debit card or credit card details.
They used to operate out of a one room office at Delhi’s Dwarka Morh (crossing), equipped with six computers. They duped more than 100 people, Kuhar said.
The others arrested were Neha (21), Komal (21), Mamta (23), Puja (21) and Poonam (21). All of them are graduates and are residents of Delhi.
While the women are currently lodged in Bhondsi Jail, Amit has been taken into three-day police custody for further interrogation.
Cases of online fraud are on the rise across the city. According to police records, as many as 2,270 cyber crime cases were lodged in 2016. It marked a 15% increase from 1,923 cases registered in 2015. A total of 1,260 cyber crime cases have been filed so far this year. More than 55% of these related online fraud and cheating, the records say.
In 215, half of the cyber crime cases registered were related to debit/credit card fraud. With more and more people resorting to online banking in tune with the Centre’s pitch to go cashless, there’s fear of a spurt in such cases, bank officials said.