Four inmates from Hyderabad prison were taken into custody by the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) police on Wednesday in connection with a case involving individuals who pretended to be Army and police officials on internet marketplaces in order to deceive others.
The four had been detained by the Hyderabad police in Rajasthan's Bharatpur in September.
The CCB police said that the guys would pretend to be clients on OLX and Quickr and make low-cost offers to buy or sell cars, cell phones, furniture, and other stuff. Later, under the guise of advance fees, they would force individuals to scan QR codes and send money to them. They pretended to be officers of the Army or police in order to win people over.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil said they have taken them in custody from Chanchalguda prison in Hyderabad. They also found that these four, along with other members of their gang, have been involved in 30 to 40 such cases. They would use fake display pictures on WhatsApp to convince people they are from the Army or police.
The suspects have been identified as Bharatpur, Rajasthan residents Vajib Khan (30), Sahil Mauj Khan (20), Shahid (28), and Umeer Khan (31).
Mode of operation
According to reports, some scammers registered for an account on OLX using soft copies of identity cards from the military and Aadhaar to advertise various items for sale, including a car and a mobile phone.
The con artists convinced the clients they were from the Army or CISF and wanted to sell their phone or car since they had been moved to another state when they contacted them on OLX chat. Once the payment had been received, they would turn off their phones. They would then ask the customer to pay a 50% advance for the product via Paytm.
These complaints have now been delivered to the relevant police stations for additional inquiry.
The common FAKE ARMY SCAMS
Every second person who tries to sell something through OLX and Facebook has got a call from a person who claims to be an Army officer living in the same city as the seller.
It's easy for people to get a thousand different pictures of army officials on the internet - use them as profile pictures and scam innocent sellers.
They've listed a hundred different ways to scam sellers over the internet and more than 80% of people agree to have been a victim of such a scam.
Just a 10 ₹ scam
Yes, you read it right. The people posing as army officers often ask people to deposit 10 rupees into their account and promise to give back the double amount. The sellers often do it and the fraudsters deposit ₹ 20 for the first time and then ask the seller to deposit a larger amount so that they can deposit the double into the seller's account. A bit confusing to understand, but many people fall into this trap and end up losing money to such scammers over the internet.
The OTP, because they are BUYING
Their next scam plan is to send you the link or ask you for a one-time password. A lot of people are still struggling to understand the online payment mechanism and they end up conveying the OTP to the scammers and lose a lot of money from their bank accounts.
Send the products, and we'll pay!
These scammers not only ask you for money but often pose as buyers over the internet. They ask sellers to send the goods to them over a promise to pay it on delivery. Some sellers who haven't have ad a call of that sort end up sending the products because of the buyer's connection with the army and they never get their promised payment.
Don't have UPI? - we're good with the card!
These fake army scammers ask people for their UPI (often posing as buyers) and if the seller disagrees to have one, the next thing they ask for is the credit card credentials. Poor people do not know what they are calling for themselves once they share the details with them. They even share QR codes with the victims to scam them
Frauds over OLX
More than 4000 cases of fraud were reported over the last year amongst which in maximum cases the conmen posed as army officials. In a lot of cases, the victims were unable to get the lost money back.
How do they win trust? - AADHAR and ID CARDS
Maximum of scammers over the internet who pose as army officials have fake identity proofs such as Aadhar cards. They often send pictures of their fake Aadhar to the victims to win their trust and in maximum cases, they succeed.
What to do if you get a call from such a scammer?
Check back here for more fraud chronicles and scams that you can protect yourself from.
Safety is not just about protecting your credit or debit card number. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!