The Central Crime Branch of the Bengaluru City Police has gained custody of four persons accused of impersonating police and military officers, to dupe people of money on online selling platforms. The men ran their operations from Bengaluru. However, they were involved in another similar scam in Telangana, for which they were held in Hyderabadâ€™s Chanchalguda Central Prison. The Bengaluru Cyber Crime Police obtained a body warrant for the accused, and brought them to Bengaluru on Wednesday.
The accused have been identified as Wajeeb Khan (30), Sahil alias Mauj Khan (20), Shahid (28) and Umeer Khan (31), who are residents of Bharatpur, Rajasthan. The Bengaluru police have uncovered 30 to 40 cases of similar frauds so far.
According to police, the four men would put up pictures of two-wheelers and cars for sale on platforms such as OLX and Quikr, while posing as police and military officials. They allegedly did so in order to gain buyersâ€™ trust. Buyers were promised by the men that they would send the vehicles directly to their homes, and requested money to be transferred to various bank accounts for the same. However, the buyers would never receive the vehicles, nor get their money back.
Incidentally, in late October, four others from Bharatpur in Rajasthan were arrested by Karnataka CIDâ€™s Cyber Wing for running a different online scam.
According to police, Ansar, Saddam, Balvinder Singh, Saini and Shakeel (who is absconding) would create fake Aadhaar cards in order to obtain a large number of duplicate SIM cards, by bypassing the verification process.
They would also collect photographs and information of public figures and government officials, including police officers, through social media accounts in order to create fake profiles. After that, they would send 'friend requests' to those already on the officersâ€™ friend lists. After their request was accepted, the group would ask those persons to transfer money to various e-wallets/bank accounts, citing an urgent need for the money.
In Chennai too similar cases with an identical modus operandi was reported through the lockdown.TNM had earlier reported that over 100 such cases have been reported to the cyber crime department since the pandemic began.