Behala SIM-bait victim loses Rs 2 lakh, two held in Delhi

Hundreds of Kolkatans are getting cheated mostly through fraudulent calls

Monalisa Chaudhuri Behala Published 30.03.22, 07:21 AM
Representational image

Representational image File Picture

A resident of Behala in southwest Kolkata lost Rs 2 lakh after a caller who allegedly posed as a representative of his telecom service provider convinced him to click on a link to submit his KYC documents, failing which, he was told, his SIM would be blocked.

Two men were arrested in Delhi last Thursday for allegedly being part of the racket that defrauded the Kolkata man.


Police said one of the two accused had at least eight credit cards that were used to make online payments and purchases with the money the racket had allegedly swindled out of its victims from across the country.

After the Behala resident reported the fraud to Sarsuna police station last month, the police initially found a bank account in Salt Lake through which money was transferred from the complainant’s account to several other accounts, an officer said.

“The first account was in Kolkata. On analysing the transactions from it, we got to know about many more accounts, some of them in Kolkata, where money was transferred from that account on a regular basis. The first account was in the name of Suraj Chauhan,” the officer said.

Hundreds of Kolkatans are getting cheated mostly through fraudulent calls. The callers try to scare the victims by telling them that their phone or SIM cards were about to be blocked if they did not click on a link sent to their phones and update KYC documents.

Once a person clicks on the link, a screen-sharing app is installed on his or her phone. Through this app, the fraudsters spy on the phone and use the victim’s banking details to transfer money from his or her account to theirs.

In 2021 alone, Kolkata police had received around 2,500 complaints of online fraud that left the victims poorer by Rs 8.16 crore. The police could recover Rs 3.5 crore.

While probing the Behala resident’s case, investigators learnt that the fraudsters would open bank accounts, sometimes with fake documents, and use them to transfer money from the victims’ bank accounts.

One such bank account led the cops to zero in on a man named Nagesh Kumar of Badaun in Uttar Pradesh.

The police said they came to know through electronic surveillance that both Kumar and Chauhan were in Delhi, even though their bank accounts were in Kolkata.

A team of officers from Sarsuna police station raided a congested locality in Delhi’s Mandwali and arrested the men.

The police said they had seized eight credit cards of various banks from Kumar, who has apparently claimed that the cards were used to channel money stolen from other bank accounts.

“The two men said they would open bank accounts and hand the debit and credit cards attached with the accounts to their employers.

These employers are the masterminds of the racket. Kumar said he used to get Rs 5,000 for each credit or debit card he would courier to his bosses,” said an officer.

Another officer said: “The two arrested were only the tip of the racket. They operated at the ground level and helped the masterminds collect the stolen money through bank accounts.”

The two are said to have given the police some addresses in Bihar’s Patna where they would allegedly send credit cards.

Earlier this month, officers of Parnasree police station had arrested two men from Bihar for allegedly running a similar racket and cheating Kolkatans through fraudulent calls.

Bipul Kumar and Dilkhush Kumar — who were arrested — are in police remand.

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