Udayavni Special

Four of a gang held for cheating online shoppers


PTI, Jan 3, 2020, 5:30 PM IST

Hyderabad: Four of a six-member gang that allegedly cheated people in the name of prize and gifts by using database of popular e-commerce and tele-marketing companies were arrested here on Friday, police said.

Mobile phones, laptops, SIM cards, fake PAN cards, fake Aadhar cards, fake voter cards and others were seized from the possession of the accused, the police said.

The six, accused in the case, were residents of Bihar and Delhi.

Two of them were absconding, a press release from the police said.

A complaint was received on November 13 from a victim that on October 8 she purchased a spiral potato-cutter worth Rs 228 from a e-commerce firm through a mobile application, the release said.

The victim received a message on her mobile number on November 11 that she had won the first prize of a car or an amount of Rs 6.90 lakh from the e-commerce firm. Since she chose the car, the victim was asked to pay registration charges of Rs 6,500 in a nationalised bank.

The message told her to also contact a helpline toll- free number or a whatsapp number, the release said.

Believing the message, the woman contacted the toll-free number and agreed to receive the car.

After getting her call, the gang members sent her a photocopy of aadhar card, PAN card and ID card in the name of an employee of the e-commerce firm, the release said.

She was asked to pay large amounts towards registration fee, RTO charges, GST, insurance charges, transportation, driver charges and others to claim the so-called prize money, it said.

In total, she paid an amount of Rs 2.30 lakh into different bank accounts furnished by the fraudsters and came to know at last that a fraud was played on her.

She has sought legal action on the matter, the release said.

Based on the complaint, a case under relevant sections of IPC and IT Act was registered and investigation taken up, it said.

The investigation revealed that the prime accused buys the database of the customers from different e-commerce companies and online tele-marketing companies, the release said.

The prime accused had taken (seven) tollfree service numbers, several bulk message and website services from the accused in order to cheat the customers of e-commerce companies, it said.

The prime accused then sent the bulk messages to the customers of online e-commerce companies that they have won the prize.

The release from the Cyberabad police commissioner V C Sajjanar said in an advisory that none of the e-commerce companies send bulk SMS to their customers and offer prizes and gifts.

It advised that any message, including bulk SMS, received on mobile phone about offering prize, gifts should never be believed.

It instructed bulk message service providers and tollfree service providers to obtain KYC documents and to do field verification.

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