10 members of gang of conmen held

Cyberabad Commissioner of Police V. C. Sajjanar inspecting some of the material seized from a gang cheating gullible people with a lottery winning notice, in Hyderabad on Monday.  

Ten members of an inter-State gang, including five from Telangana’s Mancherial district, were arrested by the Cybercrime police of Cyberabad for cheating people in the name of winning ‘bumper’ prizes.

Commissioner of Police V. C. Sajjanar said that the accused gang members run call centres in Ranchi and Rourkela from where they send letters with a scratch card to the customers of Naaptol, Herbalife and other popular e-commerce firms, informing that they won a lottery. The gullible customers scratched the card they were made to believe they won Sports Utility Vehicle or its matching amount. So far, the gang had duped hundreds of people to the tune of ₹ 2 crore.

When the victims came in contact with the accused gang members using telephone numbers given in the letters, some persons speaking in regional languages duped the victims after collecting money on various occasions citing different reasons as a condition to deliver the SUV they won.

“In excitement of ‘winning’ a car, they call the fraudster without any verification and get into their trap,” the Commissioner of Police said. Initially, the fraudsters would ask the victims to pay 1% of the vehicle’s cost as a tax amount to confirm the order. Then they would further ask them to send 3% amount for vehicle registration, 5% money to deliver the SUV, 12% as GST and 15% as refundable security deposit. Prime accused Tarun Kumar from Bihar, started the call centres, collected and hired several telecallers to dupe the gullible people.

Tarun collected a database of the customers of different e-commerce websites like Herbal Care Group, Shopclues, Club factory and Naaptol from Alok and Tiranju of Bihar. Later, he along with Prabhakar Kumar Sinha started preparing envelopes containing forged letters from Naaptol, Shopclues, Herbal Care Group and other companies with a bank stamp and a scratch card and would send them to customers by post.

“As the stolen data of the e-commerce companies did not have the contact numbers of the customers, they sent letters to their postal addresses,” Mr. Sajjanar said.

Whenever they receive calls from the victims, the accused would send fake ID cards of e-commerce companies on their WhatsApp to make them believe that they are genuine.

“To dupe people from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the telecallers would speak in Telugu, and to cheat the victims from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, they would speak in the respective language,” the officer said, adding that teams were sent to Bihar and Jharkhand to nab the accused. Tarun also created fake Aadhaar cards, voter IDs, PAN cards in the name of Yashwanth Sartap and opened several bank accounts in ICICI and HDFC banks to hide his identity.

Police seized 42 mobile phones, two laptops, 900 Naaptol letters and scratch cards, 28 debit cards, 10 Aadhaar cards and two rubber stamps from the possession of the accused.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 3:57:04 PM |

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