Friday, July 12, 2024

Fake BigBasket, DMart, Blinkit websites: Delhi Police arrest kingpin for duping buyers

Delhi Police has arrested the kingpin of a gang of cyber cheats, which used to create fake websites of e-commerce platforms including BigBasket, DMart, and Blinkit and post lucrative offers to lure unsuspecting buyers and cheat them by stealing their credit card details, an officer said on Wednesday.

The accused was identified as Shahrukh Akhtar, who was arrested from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

According to police, a complaint was lodged with the IFSO (Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations) unit, Special Cell.

The complainant alleged that while browsing Facebook, they encountered an enticing offer on BigBasket. Consequently, they clicked on the “Shop Now” tab and followed the instructions. Subsequently, an amount of Rs. 98,000 was debited from their credit card.

“In the course of the investigation, an extensive effort was made to trace the money trail and digital traces. The analysis of financial transactions and electronic records unveiled a widespread operation spanning multiple states, organised into various tiers,” said the Deputy Commissioner of Police (IFSO) Hemant Tiwari.

Financial scrutiny disclosed transactions exceeding Rs 25–30 lakh in the implicated accounts, with more than 15 victims falling prey to the gang.

During the investigation, two individuals — Sonam and Junaid Akhtar — were arrested on October 5. “Sonam revealed that, under Shahrukh Akhtar’s instructions, she tele-called innocent victims from a call centre in Raj Nagar Extension. She used fake mobile numbers, and all the SIM cards and bank accounts (where the defrauded money was deposited) were provided by the ringleader, Shahrukh,” said the DCP.

The other suspect, Junaid Akhtar, disclosed his role in furnishing bank accounts for money collection. He also withdrew cash through ATM cards, depositing it into the personal bank accounts of Shahrukh and his wife.

The pursuit of Shahrukh Akhtar ensued. “After persistent efforts, the team pinpointed Shahrukh’s location and arrested him. Shahrukh emerged as the prime suspect and the mastermind of the entire operation, confessing to his involvement in the crime,” said the DCP.

He acquired fake SIM cards for communication and tele-calling, established fake bank accounts for receiving funds, and purchased domains to operate counterfeit websites under the names of BigBasket, DMart, and Blinkit.

“Call centres in Mamura Village and Raj Nagar Extension, UP, were used to manage these activities. Shahrukh received Rs. 30 lakh in cash in his personal bank account over the past year and even bought a Hyundai Venue Car with the ill-gotten gains,” said the DCP.

Interrogation of the accused uncovered a multi-tiered racket operating from disparate locations in India:

First Tier: Providing SIM cards and bank accounts with fictitious names and addresses to the accused.

Second Tier: Creating counterfeit websites under the names of BigBasket, DMart, and Blinkit and promoting them on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, using specific user IDs.

Third Tier: Offering training and technical expertise for engaging with interested customers.

Fourth Tier: Initiating contact with customers based on acquired data, enticing them to deposit money into provided fake accounts.



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