A 91-year-old woman in Los Angeles deposed before a court in Kolkata through video conferencing on Wednesday and got her statement recorded before the magistrate in connection with an online fraud that robbed her husband of his life’s savings, the police said.
The fraud was allegedly perpetrated by a gang of men in Kolkata, some of whom are in police custody. The complaint was forwarded to the cyber cell of Kolkata police through the FBI.
According to the complaint, at least four elderly persons — all residents of the US — were allegedly duped by men who posed as members of the tech-support team of an antivirus company. “The fraudsters had sent phishing emails to their targets asking them to renew the antivirus software in their computer. The elderly people were duped out of their money after they clicked links sent to them,” said an officer of Kolkata police's cybercrime cell. Last month, a 76-year-old American woman had got her statement recorded before a magistrate in an Alipore court over video in the same case.
Based on the communication received from the FBI, the police here said they learnt that the victims were allegedly cheated by two or more people from Kolkata using the name “David” between April and June 2022. “All these victims are senior citizens who were made to believe they were speaking to tech support persons for installation of antivirus software on their computers,” said an officer of the cyber cell at Lalbazar.
The police said the recording of the 91-year-old woman’s statement started at 7.30pm (IST) on Wednesday, considering the time difference between India and Los Angeles, and went on for over two hours. She shared all the details during the deposition of how her husband was cheated.
Based on details provided by their American counterparts, the police in Kolkata started a case and arrested three men in January. Shizan Ali Haider and Mohammad Atif were arrested in Beniapukur in south Kolkata and Sabtain Ali Haider was picked up from Ajmer in Rajasthan. The fourth accused was arrested from Pune.