SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu (right, sitting) interacting with the media at Police Lines in Patiala on Wednesday.(HT PHOTO)
SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu (right, sitting) interacting with the media at Police Lines in Patiala on Wednesday.(HT PHOTO)

Patiala police bust gang of credit card fraudsters with arrest of two

Accused used to hack bank details of credit card users, create fake email ids and link them to the account, shop from online platforms and sell the items for hefty amounts
PUBLISHED ON JAN 29, 2020 10:34 PM IST

The cyber cell of Patiala police have busted a gang of fraudsters for duping private bank customers of lakhs of rupees.

Police have arrested two employees of Axis Bank, Ludhiana branch, for running the online fraud nexus since past four months. The accused have been identified as Vikas Sarpal, 27, a sales manager associated with the bank since three years, and Ravi Kumar, 25, who used to work as a peon and had left the job three months back.

Explaining their modus operandi, Patiala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu said that Vikas is the kingpin of the gang. He used to hack personal bank details of the customers, who were issued new credit cards, the SSP said.

“The accused targeted only those customers, who had not updated their email address in their credit card account. The accused would then come up with fake email id on the name of the customer and uploaded the same in the bank details of these customers,” the SSP said.

He added that the accused would also change the key settings related to receiving one-time password (OTP) in such a way that it would only be sent to the bogus email ids. This way, the customers could not receive an OTP on their registered mobile numbers.

“The accused would then shop from different online platforms by using the customers’ credit card details including card number, expiry date and CVV details. The customers would come to know about the transaction after receiving messages of the deductions on their registered mobile numbers,” Sidhu said.

CIA in-charge Shaminder Singh said that they have recovered seven high-end mobile phones, 49 Sim cards, gold coins worth 4 lakh, 40,000 cash and a brand new Mahindra Scorpio from the accused.

He added that after purchasing goods worth lakhs from online shopping platforms, the accused used to sell the same in the market and make hefty amount. “The gold coins and the SUV were purchased from this amount. Accused Ravi spent his share on his sister’s wedding,” police said.

Police said that during preliminary investigation, it came to fore that the accused also designed a fake aadhaar card of their bank manager, Mayank Chouhan, and used it to collect shopping orders from courier shops by showing the fake id.

The SSP said that severe security lapse on part of the bank cannot be ruled out at this stage. “We have started minute investigation into the matter to find out as to how the accused managed to get details of customers so easily. We are also trying to find as to how the accused managed to procure 49 Sim cards,” he said.

Police have registered a case under Sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using forged department as genuine) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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