A courier company employee and four others who had allegedly taken new credit cards out of sealed envelopes and used them online and in stores before and after delivery were arrested on Tuesday night.
The gang had used at least three such cards for online transactions of Rs 3.88 lakh, police said. They even managed to ensure that the card-holders did not get alerts on their mobile phones, according to the police.
“The courier man would take out a card before delivery, take it to a gold showroom and get it swiped for a fictitious transaction. As the card was swiped, the money was credited to the shop’s account. The shop-owner would hand over the cash, minus his cut, to the delivery man,” said joint commissioner, crime, Pallab Kanti Ghosh.
Police sources said the fraud would continue even after the card was delivered. “While delivering the card, the courier man would ask the customer questions like his father’s name and mother’s maiden name, pretending that the exercise was part of the security drill. Next, a gang member would contact the telecom service provider of the card-holder, and posing as the customer would ask for the number to be blocked on the grounds that the phone had been stolen. The service provider would do so as the caller would answer all security questions correctly,” said an officer.
Once the number is blocked, the gang members would call the bank that issued the credit card and again pretending as the customer, would request for a change in the address and contact number. “By the time the original card-holder realised that his number had been blocked and got the number to be functional again, his address and contact number in the bank’s record had been changed,” the officer said.
In the three cases the police have come across, the gang had used the credit card details to buy gold coins online after getting the cardholders’ numbers blocked and their addresses and contact numbers changed in the bank’s record.
“The bank that issued the cards became suspicious after seeing several online transactions, worth Rs 3.88 lakh, from a website, using three credit cards,” said Ghosh.
The courier delivery man Soumen Dorji, 42, was the first to be arrested. The other accused are Kiran Kumar Ghosh, 25, Sushanto Das, 32, Pintu Chaki, 32 and Niloy Kundu, 35. The police said Chaki, who owns the gold showroom, was the mastermind.