Mumbai

Serial conman who exploited banking loophole arrested

Nikhil Suman

Nikhil Suman  

He cheated people of expensive jewellery, cell phones

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has arrested a 26-year-old man who is alleged to have conned a string of people in Mumbai and nearby cities using a loophole in the online banking system.

According to Crime Branch officers, the accused, Nikhil Suman, was arrested by the Property Cell on Monday. Officers said inquiries were initiated against him after a jeweller filed a complaint with the Mankhurd police earlier this month. “Mr. Suman visited the jeweller’s store posing as a real estate developer and selected seven gold chains, collectively worth ₹5.66 lakh, from his collection, and said he would pay for them via online banking,” a Crime Branch officer said. He said Mr. Suman even showed the jeweller a message on his banking app saying that the payment had been successful.

“When the jeweller did not receive a message from his own bank, Mr. Suman said that his bank’s server might be slow,” the officer said, adding that since the message on the accused’s phone showed the jeweller’s account details, the latter believed him and let him take the chains. However, when the money was not credited to his account for several days and Mr. Suman did not take his calls, he approached the police.

“Preliminary inquiries revealed that Mr. Suman had been arrested for a similar offence last year, and using the information about his associates which was obtained at the time, we made inquiries with several people. Ultimately, we tracked him down and arrested him while he was on his way out of the city on Monday,” the officer said.

Mr. Suman allegedly told the police that he would only pretend to make the payments, while in reality he would choose the ‘schedule payment’ option. This option sets up the payment to go through at a later date and shows the transaction as successful, while the “scheduled” part is not prominently visible.

“Scheduling of payments does not take into account the person’s account balance at the time and hence, shows the payment as successful. A victim would only spot the ‘scheduled’ part if he were looking for it and many seem to be completely unaware of this feature. Mr. Suman learned about this loophole around a year ago and started exploiting it,” the officer said.

Apart from fraudulently obtaining expensive items like jewellery and cell phones, Mr. Suman is also alleged to have used the same method while staying in plush hotels and renting cars. He has been charged with cheating under the Indian Penal Code and has been remanded in police custody till January 28, while the Property Cell is seeking information on more such cases registered against him over the last one year.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 11:40:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/serial-conman-who-exploited-banking-loophole-arrested/article30619956.ece

Next Story