Gang held in Hyderabad for siphoning off money from bank accounts through duplicate SIM cards
HYDERABAD: A five-member gang from Mumbai involved in cyberfraud was arrested by the Cybercrime wing of the Cyberabad commissionerate. The gang, handled by a Nigerian, sent phishing mails under the pretext of filing I-T returns and obtained the bank account and card details of the customers.
Later they obtained duplicate SIM cards in the name of the victims and siphoned off money from their bank accounts. This gang cheated two people in the city in this manner and stole Rs 11 lakh from their accounts, said Commissioner VC Sajjanar. Since 2011, cybercrime fraudsters have adopted this technique to get access to the net banking of their targets and siphon off funds from the accounts, added Sajjanar.
The kingpin of the gang James, who operates from Nigeria, sends out bulk phishing mails to users, under the pretext of filing I-T returns. If any user opens the mail and enters the bank account details, he gains access to the account.
The details are shared with another accused Chandrakant Siddhanth Kamble who obtains a duplicate SIM card on the mobile number linked to the account, using fabricated documents. Using the number, they access net banking and siphon funds through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS).
Other accused Zameer Ahmed Munir Sayyed, Adil Hassan Ali Sayyed, Junaid Ahmed Shaik and Ashwin Narayana Sharegar worked for Chandrakant in arranging bank accounts and obtaining duplicate SIMs from West Bengal and different parts of Maharashtra, on a commission basis.
Chandrakant received 50 percent commission from James on each transaction, while his share was transferred through bitcoins or hawala. The gang has cases against them in different parts of Maharashtra and at the Hyderabad cybercrime police station.
In June 2020, they siphoned off Rs 4.25 lakh from a person, who had a JIO mobile connection and an account in Kotak Mahindra Bank. In the same manner, they siphoned off Rs 6.75 lakh from another person who has a JIO mobile connection and account in Bank of India.
Police seized 40 fake Aadhaar cards with Junaid’s photograph under different names and other incriminating material from the gang. Police also advised people to be aware of phishing mails and links in the name of I-T returns and also not to believe messages or calls asking to convert or upgrade the SIM.
Users are also advised to contact service providers as soon as the network signal of their mobile number is lost. Also, if the SIM card is blocked for days together, they are advised to change the net banking login and passwords.