Hyderabad: Sudhamani, 26, has been the latest victim of Online fraud, not by any Indian but this time it has been a Pakistani.
Sudhamani, a nurse at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology received a call from an unknown number in the last week of November 2016.
From the other end, a man spoke in Hindi with a Punjabi accent, “I am Raj Kumar calling from Mumbai Airtel office. Your mobile number has been selected as winner in an Airtel lucky draw. You have won Rs 50 lakh as prize money.”
Unfortunately Sudhamani came in the list of hundreds who get excited listening those numbers and thus ended up getting robbed Rs. 5.4 Lakhs from her savings account.
The fraudster made Sudhamani deposit money in bank accounts in installments.
He managed to convince her that she had to pay Income Tax, registration fees, clearance fee and other charges.
Maybe too late but Sudhamani started sensing a fraud after which she reached state police who then informed her that fraudster was a Pakistani since he was calling from a number with the country code +92.
Many have been the victims of this racket.
“The fraud convinces the victim that in order to collect the lottery prize, a certain amount has to be deposited as processing charges in bank accounts. After the amount is deposited, the fraudsters’ agents withdraws the cash,” said K.V.M. Prasad, a cyber crime inspector.
The fraudsters are now using new techniques after Reliance Jio was launched. “Actually, these fraudsters have been active since 2014. But, after Reliance introduced Jio, they are calling people and telling that Airtel introduced the draw to attract customers,” said an official.
Those who did not pick up calls received messages from these phone numbers asking them to call back if they want to claim the ‘prize’.
“I got two calls. The first guy spoke like a Punjabi and said I won Rs 25 lakh. Initially, I believed. Two days later, I got another call from another guy. He said I won `50 lakh. When I did an Internet search, I understood that it was fake,” said T. Mahesh, an employee of an IT firm in Madhapur.
The cops say that it is nearly impossible to nab the main suspects, who are in Pakistan. The Pakistani suspects involved in the 2014 cases, which was investigated by CCS, are still absconding
The Pakistani callers are operating from call centers after accessing phone numbers from an Internet data base.
The police are unable to collect the identity details and location of the suspects, as the Pakistani mobile service provider would not reveal details. In the recent case, CCS cops were successful in retrieving two names of Pak nationals after grilling the Indian handler. But they are not even sure if they have got those names correct.
“One middle man, who knows a lot of about the Pakistanis, is still absconding. His arrest might help us get more details,” said a probe official.