3 of phishing gang that duped Patiala MP held - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, August 9, 2019

3 of phishing gang that duped Patiala MP held

3 of phishing gang that duped Patiala MP held

Tribune News Service
Patiala, August 8

Role of telecom companies and bank officials is under the scanner after the Patiala police arrested three persons of the gang allegedly involved in cheating several MPs, MLAs and others, including Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s wife and Patiala MP Preneet Kaur. Preneet Kaur was duped of Rs 23 lakh.

The police have recovered 19 mobile phones and 693 sim cards. Addressing mediapersons, Patiala SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said the accused had their numbers on Google and other apps, wherein anyone trying to reach the State Bank of India helpline would instead call them. “Once the caller gave them personal information regarding bank and account details, they would siphon off their money through various mobile banking applications,” he said.

“In the present case, we are yet to grill the accused to ascertain how many in total they have duped. The present case was registered after Preneet Kaur received a call while being in Delhi to attend Parliament session last week. The caller claimed to be a manager of the State Bank of India. Between July 26 and 29, he called up the MP saying he needed her bank account details to credit her Lok Sabha salary. He asked for her bank account number, ATM pin, CVC number and even the OTP that she had received on the phone,” the police said.

As soon as Preneet Kaur gave him all the details, she received an SMS saying Rs 23 lakh had been withdrawn from her SBI account in Patiala. “We have been able to seal some bank and mobile application accounts through which Rs 23 lakh were being transferred,” said the SSP. “A team under cyber cell incharge Tarandeep Kaur took swift action and not only we were able to trace the money, but also able to identify the accused and arrest three of them,” said Sidhu.

Those arrested are Ata ul Ansari from Jharkhand, Afsar Ali and Noor Ali, who were both operating from Mandi Gobindgarh. “The accused would shift the money into various accounts, using separate sim card for every transaction and later stop using the sim card,” said the police.

Hundreds of villages in Jharkhand have emerged as a phishing hub. The Jamtara police record suggests that police teams from 15 states have visited the area over 35 times in the past four years and arrested over 50 persons.

Ansari and his gang members would transfer the ill-gotten money into as many as 24 e-wallets of their associates residing across the country, so as to make investigation difficult. Many such persons would then pay bills of consumers by accepting cash and offering discounts. In this manner, they would pocket the cash, thereby ending the online transaction trail.

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