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‘Life savings lost’, US citizen deposes before Alipore court judge

FBI alerts Kolkata police, three arrested for cyber fraud

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 11.02.23, 08:00 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File picture

A 76-year-old American woman recorded her statement before a magistrate in an Alipore court over video on Thursday in connection with an online fraud for which Kolkata police have arrested three men.

According to the complaint that was forwarded to Kolkata police by the FBI, the woman who lives in the US was duped by men allegedly posing as support staff of an anti-virus company over the phone.


Police said the woman had lost her life savings to the fraudsters. Her statement was recorded virtually under Section 164 of the CrPC.

The magisterial statement recording started around 5pm and took over five hours to complete, the police said.

Based on the communication received from the FBI, the police here said they learnt there were at least four American victims 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.

Based on details provided by their American counterparts, the police here started a case and arrested three men in January. Shizan Ali Haider and Mohammad Atif were arrested from Beniapukur in south Kolkata and Sabtain Ali Haider was picked up from Ajmer in Rajasthan.

During the investigation, the police said they found details of an IP address from where the alleged calls were made.

“On analysing the IP address and the internet router through which it was used, we zeroed in on the identity of the three suspects,” said an officer.

At least one of them had used a mobile app that helps conceal the IP address from where an internet connection is used.

The police found the same app on the phone of one of the three arrested. The phone and several laptops have been seized, the officer said.

Several Kolkatans and many across the globe get cheated over the phone by fraudsters who pose as customer care support teams or officials of e-commerce companies. The callers convince them to download screen-sharing apps on their phones that give the fraudsters access to the victims’ phones even if they are in another continent.

Last updated on 15.02.23, 09:10 AM

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