Criminals switch to ATMs and bogus telemedicine services: DB

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Representative image. Photo: Collected

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Representative image. Photo: Collected

Even the world of crime is witnessing innovations.

Criminals from different syndicates have recently been discovered defrauding people through cash dispensers (CDMs) and telemedicine services, law enforcement claims.

For the CDM strategy, union members first identify themselves as police or military officials and call merchants to purchase electronics.

Once the price is set, they ask traders for bank account numbers with CDM facilities. Then they go to the CDM point and enter the requested amount on the machine, but only insert an empty envelope instead of real money, which the machine accepts.

Shortly after, a text message is sent to the account holder’s phone number confirming the transaction, when in reality, the deposited money is only counted after a bank official verifies the contents of the envelope.

After the text message is sent, the syndicate informs the target that the money has been deposited. Then, he sends a carpool delivery person to pick up the product.

The trader delivers the product after receiving the notification on his phone. A day later, they learn from bank officials that the envelope submitted was empty.

But by then it is simply too late.

The Cybercrime and Special Crimes Division of the Detective Branch of Police (DB) released findings following the arrest of two people on Wednesday.

Those arrested are Jahid Hasan Rony (32) and his associate Umme Habiba (28). Apart from CDM fraud, those arrested also pocketed money by selling stolen products online, promising to change public exam results and securing admission to government medical colleges, Junaed said. Alam Sharker, Additional Deputy DB Commissioner.

The police detected them, after a victim filed a complaint with the Tejgaon police station in February.

According to the complaint, Rony, identifying himself as a DB official, called a trader on February 22 and confirmed that he bought a camera for 55,000 Tk.

Rony then claimed to have deposited the money into the merchant’s bank account via CDM.

The trader then said the money still hasn’t been deposited because the bank will verify it. But Rony said he was a DB official and they had nothing to worry about. The next day, the bank informed the victim that there was only 1,000 Tk inside the deposited envelope, and the communication between the victim and Rony broke down.

ADC Junaed said the duo stole huge sums of money through such fraudulent activities. Once after getting the products, Rony resold them online. Seven separate cases have been filed against Rony at Paltan, Rampura, Tejgaon, New Market and Ramna police stations. Detectives said Rony completed MBA and Habiba honors.

Meanwhile, a separate syndicate is scamming people by providing a bogus telemedicine service. These services have grown in popularity during the pandemic. The criminals first run an online advertisement about providing treatments for skin and sexual diseases. For the ads, they use the identities of popular doctors.

When people contact for treatment, the union informs them that the fee for physical visit is Tk 3,000-4,000 but for online consultation it is Tk 1,000. And every day they received money from at least 30-40 people through mobile financial services.

Detectives claimed to have broken up the union after a Rajshahi couple were arrested on Thursday. They are Rashed Hossain Pranto and Mowsumi Khatun. The police seized three phones and four SIM cards in their possession. Those arrested used to manage 13 Facebook accounts and three WhatsApp IDs, ADC Junaed said.

Police said the union used to take compromising photos of people during online consultations. Then the criminals blackmailed them for money, detectives said.


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