Delhi Police to freeze 95 bank accounts of Covid frauds
Police said they have coordinated with banks to freeze accounts so that the duped money is not withdrawn or spent
A day after Delhi Police said that they were joining hands with different agencies to prevent cyber criminals from duping Covid victims, investigators have identified 200 mobile phone numbers and initiated steps to freeze 95 bank accounts involved in some of the frauds.
Police said they have coordinated with banks to freeze accounts so that the duped money is not withdrawn or spent, Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said.
“We have also sent the 200 suspicious phone numbers to the Department of Telecommunications for mandatory KYC verification so that these numbers are not used anymore,” said Biswal.
In addition, police have identified 33 unique transaction reference (UTR) numbers and 17 UPIs and online wallets used by the fraudsters to target victims, most of who fell prey in their desperation to find oxygen cylinders, concentrators, and medicines.
“For the UTRs, UPIs and wallets, we have reached out to the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to block the payment so that the money can eventually be reversed to the victims,” said Biswal.
As on Tuesday morning, Delhi Police registered 113 FIRs related to different kinds of crimes committed against coronavirus patients and their kin. Of these, 61 were related to cheating on the pretext of providing medicines or oxygen, and the rest were related to black marketing, hoarding or overcharging. Biswal said that 100 people have been arrested so far for their alleged roles in these crimes.
Delhi Police, in association with the ministry of home affairs (MHA), already has a cyber helpline number, 155260, to help victims of online financial frauds recover their money, if they report the fraud in time.
On Monday, police decided that apart from the complaints received on this number, even the online financial fraud complaints received on the police’s Covid helpline number, 011-23469900, were to be dealt in the same way, with a focus on helping victims recover the money.
Police have said their analysis of some of the cheating cases has suggested that some phishing gangs from Mewat in Haryana and Jamtara in Jharkhand were also taking advantage of the situation in the national capital.