Investigations into the recent case of online fraud, in which fraudsters duped an IIT professor to the tune of Rs9 lakh, have revealed that the fraudsters managed to procure a SIM card in the name of the professor’s wife by submitting a photo of a former telecom minister. Investigations further revealed that the fraudsters had submitted fake address proof and PAN card while procuring the SIM card from the company office at Nagpur.
The role of the bank and telecom service provider, therefore, has come under police scanner, as they did not even check whether the applicant was a male or a female. The investigators have claimed that there was a possibility that the service provider employee could have helped the fraudster in issuing the SIM card.
The victim Sanjay Dande, former IIT Kanpur director and an expert in computers, lost the money from the account maintained by his consulting firm. Dande and his wife are directors of the firm. The CCC officials have claimed that it was an organised crime and the person who had procured the SIM card was used as a mediator by the handlers.
A senior police officer told dna, “During our investigations we found that the fraudster had bought the SIM card from Nagpur. We have collected the CCTV footage of the office and identified the person. Our investigations are on the right track.” Police said the fraudsters had committed a similar crime last month where they managed to transfer online a Koregaon Park resident’s money into to their bank accounts.
According to CCC, the fraudster gained access to bank data and randomly picked an account, which happened to be the victim’s. Later, they blocked Dande’s wife’s mobile number and procured a new SIM card in her name. The officer said that later the fraudster managed to obtain the bank account details which are required for the money transfer. Thereafter, they transferred money in different accounts and withdrew through ATM.
Police inspector Sanjay Tungar who is investigating the case said, “Dande’s wife’s mobile phone stopped functioning from September 6 and it took four days to restore the connection, meanwhile the fraud took place.” Citizens should contact the bank if they do not get SMS alerts. Even when the SIM card is blocked or missing, inform the bank, CCC officials urged.
Telcos asked for high risk mobile nos
After being rattled with several online banking frauds where fraudsters had managed to procure fake SIM cards from telecom service companies, the Pune Cyber Crime Cell (CCC) has requested telecom companies to specify a list of high risk mobile numbers which are using netbanking services. The CCC has also asked the companies to verify the applicants’ documents.