The Amboli Police on Saturday arrested a gang of four fraudsters who were allegedly siphoning money from people’s accounts by posing as Income Tax department officials. The accused would convince their victims to click on phishing links by claiming to update their Permanent Account Number (PAN) card details.
According to the Amboli police, investigations were initiated into the matter last month, when the police received a complaint from Rohit Ghuste, an Amboli resident, who lost Rs. 1.4 lakh from his personal account earlier last month.
“The victim had received a call from one of the accused, asking him to update their PAN card. They then sent a link to his mobile number and asked him to click on the same and fill out the required details to finish the procedure,” said an official at Amboli police.
After clicking the link, Ghuste lost Rs. 1.4 lakh from his account almost immediately.
“When we received the complaint, we began the technical investigation and traced the account where the money was sent from the victim’s account,” the official added.
The police’s investigation led them to a mobile phone store in Surat owned by Ashish Bhodhara, 32, and Jemish Virani, 25, both of whom were arrested. While interrogating these two, the police found the involvement of Vipul Bhodhara, 32, and Pradeep Rangani, 27 in the crime, who were also placed under arrest.
The police have recovered 153 credit cards, four mobile phones, and a tab from their possession that they used to conduct their criminal activities. The police are now investigating to find out how the accused managed to get so many credit cards and what they were being used for.
A case of cheating has been lodged against all four under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and The Information Technology Act, 2000. The police said they have been remanded in police custody for further investigations to find out if they have duped more such victims with similar modus operandi.