By Shagun Dhanuka: Two Haryana residents – Shamsher, aged 36 years, and Shafi Mohammad, aged 27 years were arrested by the Cyber Crime Unit of Noida for conning people while posing as army officials. Another man, their partner Shahrukh, a resident of Rajasthan is still on the run.
Noida resident AK Maheshwari, on August 3, 2021, filed a complaint against the fraudsters with the Cyber Crime Police branch in Noida. The complainant had uploaded an ad for his property on OLX, and online realty platforms MAGICBRICKS, and 99ACRES, after which the conmen pretending to be fake army officers approached Maheshwari for renting the flat.
On the pretext of sending Maheshwari the advance money through a QR Code, the fraudsters duped him of Rs 1,03,900.
Upon interrogation, it was revealed that Shamsher and Shafi – with the help of Shahrukh – would pose as army officers and gain the victim’s trust by telling them a lie about getting transferred and needing to rent the property. Then in the name of sending the advance money, they would transfer the money into their own account.
Apart from that, they would also make fake Facebook IDs of girls and then chat with people. They would then make an MMS using it to blackmail them. To date, they have duped people of Rs 10 crore which they shared among themselves.
They also divulged that in order to not get caught and have the authorities track the stolen money, they would transfer it to different bank accounts and then cash it out using either a debit card or a POS machine.
“We advise people to check the authenticity of buyers and sellers on classified websites. Cybercriminals posing as customers are waiting for new advertisements to cheat them,” said Prof Triveni Singh, superintendent of police, cyber crime, UP.
Singh said his team has identified over 50 people involved in such frauds and are tracking their locations. Soon raids will be carried out to arrest them.
The two arrested were booked under Sections 171, 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 34 along with Sections 66 and 66D IT Act.
Some of the items recovered from the conmen were:
- Rs 2,37,429 – frozen in their bank accounts
- 10 ATM cards belonging to various banks
- 2 mobile phones
- 5 different POS machines