CHENNAI:The Central Crime Branch of the city police on Sunday arrested seven members of a Haryana-based vishing gang, which stole cash around Rs 50 lakh from more than 400 credit cards belonging to customers of SBI by obtaining their card details over the phone. While cops managed to trace and arrest seven persons, one of the accused who obtained credit card details of SBI customers and handed it over to the gang is still on the run.
The accused were R.Nithin Singhala (26), V.Vikas (27), M.Riyashid Khan (36), K.Gulshan Kumar (24), S.Jithender (30), R.Shamanram (24) and S.Krishna Chawla (55)- all hailing from Karnal in Haryana.
Investigators comprising personnel from the Cyber cell and Bank fraud team were tracking the suspects based on a complaint from the Fraud control unit of SBI CPSL stating that sensitive information of card holders (CVV number, Expiry date, OTP number) of at least 400 card holders were collected in a fraudulent manner. The fraudsters, in the process stole Rs 50 lakh and it was found that most of the amount was transacted towards mobile recharge, DTH recharge bills of the accused and their kin and the money. Some of the amount was also transacted to the bank accounts of the accused.
The prime accused, Nithin Singhala, is a Vodafone distributor in Karnal disrict and runs a tele-marketing firm. “There are more than 250 Vodafone retailers under him. The other accused Vihas and Riyashid Khan were working in his retail stores,” a police officer said.
When customers come to buy SIM cards in their store, they obtained two to three photocopies of their IDs and address proof and after using one set for the customer, they used the others to purchase SIM cards on their names by forging their signatures. These SIM cards were then sold to the mastermind who would make calls to customers. One of the accused, the absconding Vipin Chopra, a Vodafone employee had handed over the details of SBI customers to the vishing gang. The fraudsters would call pretending to be bank officials or from customer care and collected all details from cardholders.
“They issued promises such as increasing credit card limits or offering prizes for non-default or issuing high value cards such ‘Gold’ ‘Platinum’ cards,” a senior CCB officer said adding, “They also employed persons who know various Indian languages and used them to speak to some customers.” The fraudsters also used the information and bought items from online retail stores.