Mumbai cyber crime cell busts `Task Fraud` gang, 6 held

The Cyber Crime Cell of the Mumbai Police has busted a gang of fraudsters and arrested six people for allegedly operating a `Task Fraud`, an official said.

The police seized Rs 7 lakh, 11 mobile phones, 47 different bank cards, 104 ATM cards, passbooks and a bank manager`s stamp from the gang, he said.

According to the police, the arrested individuals were identified as Pramod Kumar Behra, Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary, Suvendru Das, Jaideep Parda, and Manoj Kumar Raut. 

The complainant, a senior citizen, had previously worked in Gulf and after retirement he had moved to Mumbai. He had social media accounts.

“In September last year, he received a message from an unknown person who introduced herself as Nisha, who purportedly worked for a marketing company. She told him he could earn Rs 70 for following an Instagram account. Initially, he refused, but the fraudster convinced him to reconsider himself once he received the money. She told him that her company helps young artists and bloggers gain fame and sent him a link to follow an Instagram account. The fraudster obtained his personal and bank account information and provided him with a code, he then asked him to contact further on a Telegram account,” an official explained.

Initially, to lure the complainant, he was given a fake task and he even received the payment, this led him to trust the fraudsters, the police said.

Meanwhile, in November, he was added to a group and asked to log in to a website and place an order. After he placed the order, he was told it was incorrect and was asked to pay a fine. The fraudsters then conned him into transferring Rs 43 lakh to various bank accounts. Realising the fraud, he rushed to the cyber police station, where a case was registered and an investigation was launched by a team of police officials, an official said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Datta Nalavde instructed the officials to investigate. A team led by Police Inspector Savita Shinde, along with Assistant Inspectors Poonam Jadhav, Nitin Gache, Bhuvad, Takiq, Jadhav, and Desai, began the investigation, the police said.

“The police gathered crucial information and subsequently traveled to Odisha, where they apprehended the five individuals and brought them to Mumbai. The debit cards and bank passbooks were also seized, along with the bank manager`s stamp. The authenticity of the stamp is being verified to determine if bank officials were involved in the fraud. The six arrested individuals were produced in court,” an official said.

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