With the arrest of four people, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell said that they had busted a syndicate of fraudsters indulge in cheating people posing as officials from the Ministry of Finance, the RBI, and the IRDAI.
The data sheet recovered from the syndicate showed that there were approximately 3,000 more potential victims in their list, said an official.
Police said that the accused had even prepared forged documents of the Finance Ministry bearing the signature of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, RBI Regional Director S.M.N Swamy, IRDAI’s Bima Lokpal and various life insurance companies.
The accused have been identified as Mehtab Alam, 33, a resident of old Mustafabad, Sartaj Khan, 31, a resident of New Mustafabad, Mohd Junaid, 29, brother of Sartaj Khan and Deen Mohammad, 27.
Police teams have also recovered a laptop being used to prepare forged documents, 7 mobile phones used for calling victims, three email ids and domain name used for sending mails to victims, data sheet of insurance policy holders containing details of future potential victims, bank accounts, and ATM cards used for receiving money.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell’s IFSO, Prashant Gautam said that a complaint was received by the Ministry of Finance regarding financial fraud, impersonation and using forged documents.
The complaint was sent to the Delhi Police Commissioner’s office, and a fake letter issued in the name of the Ministry of Finance bearing the signature of the Finance Minister was also attached with the complaint. Few more similar complaints were also received from the CP office for inquiry.
In his complaint, the victim stated that he was telephonically approached by person named Chaman Lal and was told that some amount was sanctioned against his lapsed insurance policy.
“He was asked to provide his email id. Then a letter was sent to the victim through a fake email id — firstname.lastname@example.org — wherein he was informed that an amount of Rs 12,46,518 had got sanctioned against his lapsed insurance policies. He was initially asked to pay Rs 44,000 as processing charges. When he paid the said amount, he was again asked to pay Rs 27,000 as NOC charges and when the victim paid the asked amount, a fake and forged cheque of Rs 12,46,518 was sent to the victim by the fraudsters through post,” said Gautam.
“When the victim received the cheque, he was again asked to pay Rs 52,000 as the final fund release charges and he was told that without paying the said amount, he won’t be able to get the cheque amount. Therefore, in total the victim was cheated for Rs. 1,27,000,” he said.
During investigation, the IFSO team started working on all technical aspects and after cyber trailing, they zeroed down the location and identity of the persons involved in the crime. The accused persons were constantly changing their locations.
“Police team conducted raids at and around the places of locations of the alleged persons. After meticulous efforts, the team successfully apprehended the mastermind of the syndicate Mehtab Alam from Mustafabad,” the DCP said.
Further his three other associates, Sartaj Khan, Mohd Junaid and Deen Mohammad, were also traced and arrested.
Divulging the details of the modus operandi used by the accused, the DCP said that all the accused involved in the offence have previous experience of working at insurance companies.
Alam, the kingpin of the syndicate, also has experience of working at a company which deals in websites and email registration. He convinced his associates to work together to earn easy money.
“They obtained data of insurance policy holders fraudulently and started contacting them with fake email IDs created in the name of the RBI and the IRDAI. The accused used to call the insurance policy holders posing as officials from the IRDAI, the RBI and Ministry of Finance and lured them on pretext of providing maturity amount against their existing or lapsed policies,” the DCP said.
“In order to convince the policy holders, they used to send them emails using email IDs which are similar to that of ‘government financial institutions’ with forged documents seemingly issued from the RBI, the Ministry of Finance, and the IRDAI. They also used to send fake and forged cheques to the victims by post in order to induce them,” he added.
“Upon getting the cheques, the victims used to transfer the amount into the accounts provided by accused persons and then the accused would withdraw the cheated amount from different locations in Delhi,” said the official, adding that efforts are on to nab the remaining accused.