Gift Fraudsters booked

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Cyberabad Police nabbed 10 Cyber Fraudsters, said to have cheated gullible people to the extent of INR 2crore

The first time, a Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, MP, Bihar links to Gift Fraudsters unearthed

The gang hails from Bihar, MP, Telangana, converses in local lingo, to gain confidence to trap more people easily

Hyderabad, March 01, 2021…..Cyberabad Police achieved a breakthrough, busted a big gift scam, involved by well over 15 fraudsters hailing from Bihar, MP and Telangana. Announcing this at a Press Conference held at Cyberabad Police Commissionerate office at Cyberabad, Mr VC Sajjanar, Police Commissioner claimed it to be a breakthrough as it involves local people’s link unlike before. We have arrested 10 Cyber Fraudsters out of 15. The five are elusive. Our force is hopeful of nabbing the other, he added What is so strange is that it is for the first time the fraudsters involved five Telugu speaking youth from Mancherial as tele-callers to add more native touch to gain more victims’ trust. They have also pressed into the service of people who speak native/local languages such as Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and other languages.  

These Telugu speaking telecallers, A-11 to 15 include Manchinella Venkatesh; Gurramguda Rakesh; Elkaturi Prashanth, SuramRajender Reddy and Lingampally.  Though the number of victims is unknown, according to Mr Sajjanar, Police Commissioner of Cyberabad Police, the fraudsters are said to have cheated to the extent of Rs 2 crore.More details will emerge as probe deep into the subject, he said. 

The Cyberabad Police under the leadership of Cyber Crimes ACP, Balakrishna Reddy; S. Venkat Reddy, Inspector of Police; K Vijay Vardhan, Sun-Inspector of Police seized 42 mobile phones, two laptops, 18 bundles of envelopes comprised of Naaptol Letters along with Scratch Cards, 28 Debit Cards, 10 Aadhar Cards and 2 rubber stamps. 

The gangsters operated 53 bank accounts.   

Police acted on the complaint from a victim registered on 11th August 2020. He got a call from Karthik, posing himself from the Herbal Care Group. Consequently, he received a letter by post which contained a scratch card. On rubbing it he found that he won a TATA Safari Car worth Rs 15 lakh. Follow up to it came another call expressing inability in shipping the car due to COVID and instead they offered to deposit the money.  To receive the prize money the victim was told by the caller Arun Verma that he would need to pay TDS, GST and Conversion Fee to avail Cash. And demanded to deposit INR 45,150/-. They also shared two bank account details. Accordingly, the victim paid a sum of Rs 22,779/- through SBI Bank and another Rs 72,680/- to another SBI Account of Ashish Kumar and Jayant Kumar Lanka respectively. On the whole, the victim paid Rs 95,459/- in two instalments on 20th August. 

Then the victim got repeated calls from them demanding to deposit money under different heads. That is when the victim realised that he was cheated and requested police to probe and take action. A case was registered under Section 417, 419, 420 IPC Sec 66C & D of IT Act in the Cyber Crime Police Station under Cyberabad limits.  

The Modus operandi was simple. The fraudsters collected data from different sources such as Herbal Care Group; Naaptol and shopclues.com 

The data thus procured had only addresses and didn’t have mobile numbers. That is why they used to post(snail mail) informing their targets of their lucky prize. The letter provided a mobile number to which they needed to respond to. 

Initially, they asked victims to pay just 1% tax amount as confirmation and acceptance of the offer. Then they started demanding under various heads such as 3% tax towards vehicle registration; 5% towards the delivery of the vehicle; 12% towards GST and 15% towards security deposit which was refundable.  

They have set up two call centres in Jharkhand  

The kingpin of the gang was Tarun Kumar alias Amit, a resident of Nawada District of Bihar. He was assisted by Prabhakar Kumar Sinha alias Mohit from Ranchi. He was in charge of the Call Center. He also monitored the data, prepared letters of Naaptol, Herbal Care Group and scratch cards. The same data was shared with tele-callers.  

A-3 Kamlesh Dubey, a friend of Yashwanth Thakur, A-9 was coordinating with banks. A-4 and 5, Alok and Tiranju, both absconding, are natives of Bihar. Their job was to procure the database from various sources. A-6 Bajrangi, elusive, liaised with the bank and mastermind Tarun and used to pocket commission due to him. Kotresh and Sunil, still at large ran call centres located at Chuntia and Ranchi in Jharkhand. Yashwanth Thakur and Sourabh Patel, friends of A-3, arranged nearly 25 bank accounts to dupe the customers.  

Speaking to the media Mr Sajjanar advised people to use common sense and not fall prey to such things. Do not believe in any Gift or Scratch Scams. No e-commerce company ever sends such mails, he said. He also advised people not to trust bulk SMSes being sent currently.  

Money doesn’t come so easily. So don’t fall pray for easy money or lottery prizes.  

The ACP Cyber Crimes Balakrishna Reddy asked the public to cross-check such offers either with the police or the e-commerce company’s official phone number.  

Mr Sajjanar appreciated the police N. Vinayak, ASI; Constables N. Rajkumar, G.Krupakar Reddy, D. Shekhar, S. Shivakumar, Suraj Singh, M. Mahesh, M. Mahesh Goud, P. Anil, MD Arshad, S. Anandan, J. Mounika along with their superiors for their efforts in nabbing the culprits. They were also rewarded suitably. 

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