Chennai

CCB busts online vehicle scam

Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials of the city police have busted a multi-crore online market scam, in which fraudsters posed as army officers to sell vehicles, cheating over 100 buyers in Chennai.

G. Nagajothi, Deputy Commissioner, CCB, has advised customers not to fall prey to people posing as army officers, trying to sell products in online markets. People have been also directed not to click on suspicious payment links.

According to the police, the CCB has been receiving complaints about the online market scam since last November. “The fraudsters copy pictures of army men in uniform from social media and post it on the site. They advertise that they have an automobile to sell as they are getting transferred from the unit in Chennai,” said a police officer.

When a prospective buyer contacts them, they send their fake credentials on WhatsApp. Following this, they ask the buyer to transfer money through digital wallets. Subsequently, when the purchaser questions the delay in the delivery of the automobile, the conmen site reasons such as lorry getting held up at the toll gate and non payment of insurance.

“The buyers realise their folly only when the conmen switch off their mobile phones. Thousands of people have been cheated across the country by the gang,” said a police officer.

Following a complaint, Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan directed CCB Additional Commissioner C. Easwara Moorthy to form a team headed by Ms. Nagajothi.

“During investigation, the cyber-cell team found that most transactions and calls were done from Dundawal village, Bharatpur, in Rajasthan. Since we came to know that many in the neighbouring States had been cheated using the same modus operandi, we coordinated with other State Police Departments. Even they confirmed that Rajasthan was the source of the calls,” the officer said.

However, when the police team rushed to Rajasthan, there was no proper help from the local police initially. “The villagers did not allow our team to enter. Our officers spoke to their counterparts there and finally we managed to nab the masterminds — Naresh Pal Singh, 36, and Bachchu Singh, 26 — both from Bharatpur,” said the officer.

The police team is bringing them to back to Chennai. “We have to arrest the other gang members who helped them create bank accounts with fake addresses and documents. We will gather more details after interrogation,” the officer said.

The police have also advised people to be careful while buying goods from online sites. “There are many fraudsters posing as army officers who are waiting to con gullible people. Verify first and then purchase. If you are selling a product, never click on payment links, as your account can be compromised,” said Ms. Nagajothi.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 11:26:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ccb-busts-online-vehicle-scam/article30954032.ece

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