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Man held for online con job

A 23-year-old man was arrested for allegedly cheating several persons through online classified advertisements.

Police have found over Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts where alleged fraudster Jibandeep Sarkar had deposited the money he acquired from his victims.

Sarkar, a college dropout, had posted work-from-home advertisements on two portals promising income in US dollars.

“The advertisement contained a mobile number. When people called they were told about a job that would fetch them Rs 600 a day, sitting at home. All they needed to do is click on online links that would be provided to them. In return, they were asked to deposit Rs 9,000 in a bank account as registration fee for the job,” said joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.

Complainant Sangita Mitra, a 25-year-old teacher in north Calcutta, fell for it and deposited the said fee.

“She also made the mistake of revealing her debit card number as well as the PIN of the account where she wanted the salary to be deposited,” Ghosh added.

However, no money came her way and she lodged a police complaint last December.

Police investigation revealed that the bank account where she had deposited Rs 9,000 belonged to a rickshaw-puller of Baruipur. The account is in the Dhakuria branch of a nationalised bank.

“It became apparent that Sarkar was operating the account on the sly without the owner’s knowledge. He would transfer money from this account to several others, some of which belonged to members of his family. We have found that he had minted at least Rs 15 lakh,” said a senior officer of the cyber cell in Lalbazar.

Sarkar, who was an English (honours) student, was picked up from his home at Bhangar and remanded in police custody till January 21.

The police seized 60 SIM cards, two laptops, seven mobile phones, one tablet computer, 17 ATM cards and two pendrives from his possession.

“The ATM cards could belong to the people he had cheated or attached with the bank accounts he was operating. We will find out how he hit upon this idea… and how he got access to the rickshaw-puller’s bank account,” the officer said.