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Scam victim’s own bank job ruse ends in arrest

New Delhi, April 12, 2024
A man, who was allegedly cheated in a bank job scam last year, thought of playing the same game himself to con others but has been tracked down and arrested, a Delhi Police official said on Thursday.

The accused, identified as Vishal Ahuja, 31, a resident of Uttam Nagar area and a diploma holder from Pusa Institute, had published an advertisement for ‘Banking Assistant and Data Entry Operator’ on the WorkIndia job portal and he used to send fake offers, appointment, and confirmation letters to victims.

His arrest came after complainant Sagar Ranga lodged an online complaint on NCRP on March 28, reporting that he saw a job advertisement on the “WorkIndia” job portal and on showing his interest, after some time, received a call from a man, who identified himself as an HR officer in HDFC Bank and promised a job in the bank for the complainant’s wife.

“The person in question also sent an offer letter and requested Rs 900 for police verification, which was sent online. A

fter a few days, they requested more money for a demo fee, etc., and the victim sent Rs 3,000. Subsequently, the perpetrator demanded an additional Rs 2,929, promising reimbursement along with the first salary. Upon receiving a total of Rs 6,829, the perpetrator ceased communication,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Southwest, Rohit Meena said.

During the investigation, beneficiary details of the transactions were obtained from the relevant bank and analysed. It was revealed that the entire defrauded amount of Rs 6,829 was deposited in the Kotak Bank account of a woman named Anupama, residing in Haryana’s Bahadurgarh.

“Further investigation led to the accused’s mobile number being traced to Patel Nagar. Subsequently, surveillance was placed on the mobile number, revealing activity in Uttam Nagar, and Dwarka,” the DCP said.

On April 6, a team conducted technical surveillance and scrutinised payments made from the Kotak Bank account. “It was found that payments were made at Grover Sweets and KFC Sapphire, both located at Dwarka Mor, using the Kotak account,” he added.

It was also found that the ownership of the mobile number differed from that of the account holder, indicating that the fraudster was employing proxy SIM cards and accounts. On further investigation, another victim who was in contact with the fraudster, and promised a job at HDFC Bank, was questioned.

Despite continuous efforts, the fraudster evaded capture by frequently changing locations.

“However, after diligent pursuit, the suspect was apprehended by the team when he attempted to meet the potential victim at Dwarka Mor Metro Station. The suspect was identified as Vishal Ahuja,” said the DCP.

Subsequent interrogation of Anupama also revealed that she had also been cheated out of Rs 57,500, with the fraudster using her identity to open an online bank account and commit further fraud.

“After his arrest, Ahuja confessed to purchasing a package from the WorkIndia job portal to advertise fake Banking Assistant and DEO jobs, using proxy mobile numbers. He would then deceive job-seekers through WhatsApp, soliciting fees for verification, demo, and interview purposes,” said the DCP.

The fake offer, appointment, and confirmation letters from HDFC Bank were sent after altering candidate names using online PDF editing tools.

“Ahuja also obtained the KYC documents and biometrics of job-seekers to open online bank accounts and perpetrate additional fraud,” the DCP said, adding Ahuja withdrew defrauded amounts from various ATMs and made payments at different shops using UPI.

“Once the bank accounts were blocked or frozen by the police, he destroyed ATM cards to eliminate evidence against himself,” the official added.(Agency)

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