Chennai

How Delhi-based ‘vishing’ gang cheated hundreds in Tamil Nadu by speaking in Tamil

The three suspects apprehended by the Anti-Bank Fraud Wing in Vasanth Vihar. Photo: Special arrangement

The three suspects apprehended by the Anti-Bank Fraud Wing in Vasanth Vihar. Photo: Special arrangement  

They used Tamil as a trump card to lure gullible victims in the State.

Sitting in a lane in Delhi’s Vasanth Vihar, 2,200 km away from Tamil Nadu, a gang operating clandestinely swindled money from the accounts of hundreds of people by getting them to share the one-time password and bank details over phone.

Following a series of complaints received by the city police and elsewhere in the State, a special team was formed under Assistant Commissioner S. Prabakaran of the Anti-Bank Fraud Wing of the Central Crime Branch.

After scrutinising the complaints, electronic data and call records of the victims, the team zeroed in on the gang in Delhi’s R.K. Puram and adjacent Vasanth Vihar, where Tamils live predominantly.

With the help of the Delhi police, the special team mounted surveillance and nabbed three suspects in Vasanth Vihar and brought them to Chennai.

They have been identified as R. Dev Kumar, 22, of R.K. Puram; Wilson Mathew, 25; and R. Deepak Kumar, 21, of Vasanth Vihar. Dev Kumar was pursuing B. Com through correspondence, while the other two had completed SSLC. Wilson Mathew was working as a driver with the Italian Embassy, the police said.

Two others, reportedly the kingpins behind the scheme, Sivasakthi and Jayaraj, fled to neighbouring States.

Migrants from T.N.

They migrated from Krishnagiri and Salem to Delhi several years ago. The duo learnt the trick of vishing (voice phishing) in Delhi, while running a call centre. Police are on the lookout for them.

“The modus operandi is that the victim would be asked to share the one-time password (OTP) over phone by the fraudster posing as a bank official, claiming that their card had been blocked or by offering a prize on their mobile phone number or updating the Aadhaar number. They would speak in Tamil and claim to be from banks,” a senior police officer said.

The accused used Android phones for their operations. They would quickly transfer the money from the victim’s account to a mobile wallet. They would then switch off the mobile, ensuring that the victim could not trace them.

“The gang transferred the money to a particular mobile wallet and then they transferred it to a bank account. We traced them after trailing the money transaction. The gang’s prime targets were senior citizens in the State,” a senior officer said.

Every year, the Anti-Bank Fraud Wing of the city police receives 6,000 complaints of vishing or other frauds.

Now all complaints are actively pursued and consistent efforts are taken to trace the suspects in the cases, senior officers said.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 12:56:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/delhi-based-vishing-gang-held-for-cheating-hundreds-in-tamil-nadu/article30917302.ece

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