Trio allegedly defrauded a person from city of Rs. 5 lakh

Three persons from Mumbai, who allegedly defrauded a person from Hyderabad of Rs. 4.98 lakh through phishing, were arrested and brought to Hyderabad, the Crime Investigation Department said on Saturday.

Modus operandi

The arrested, Tajuddin Mohammed Saith, 58, Basava Kumar Sivappa, 54, and Paresh Mohanta, 26, were remanded in judicial custody. Efforts were on to bring in their leader, Fardin of Nigeria, operating from his country, to India with the help of Interpol, the CID Additional SP, U. Rammohan, said.

The victim was a retired chief financial officer of a company based in Hyderabad. Four months ago, he received an email in the name of Income Tax Department stating that he can apply for refund of the tax he had paid in excess. The gang actually sent a web page which looked like that of the Income Tax Department.

“Believing it to be genuine, the former CFO keyed in his details like Internet bank account’s account number and password,” the Additional SP said. Nearly 10 days after he had furnished the details, his mobile phone got disconnected.

When he approached the company and sought to know reasons for disruption of services, the company replied that someone in his name had placed a request to deactivate the SIM card stating that it was lost. The person had also obtained a duplicate SIM card with the same number from Kurnool.

Investigation revealed that it was one of the members of the gang who got the complainant’s SIM card deactivated to ensure he didn’t receive alerts about his Internet banking transactions, the CID officials said. By the time the former CFO got his mobile phone reactivated, Rs. 4.98 lakh were transferred online from his account. Tracking the online transfer of money, the investigators traced the offenders to Mumbai and caught them.