Online scam
Representational picture

A 72-year-old senior citizen from Bandra was duped out of Rs 1.97 crore by a man posing on Facebook as a member of the US Army posted in Afghanistan. The accused lured him with the promise of a lucrative investment scheme in Afghanistan.

According to The Times of India, after befriending him on Facebook the victim and the accused exchanged phone numbers after which they began chatting on WhatsApp. After a while, the fraudster sent him a certificate of deposit purportedly carrying authorisation from the US Army Corp and said he had sent the same to a nationalised bank's Delhi branch.

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A woman claiming to be an executive from the bank gave the victim a call and confirmed the certificate's receipt and told him that he will receive an official e-mail from them. He was then made to deposit money under some pretext or another and ended up giving about Rs 1.97 crore. The accused later couriered him a debit card, which when he tried to use found it was a fake. The victim then approached cyber crime officials and registered a complaint.

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Cyber crime officials believe a Nigerian gang is behind the scam. During investigations officials discovered 108 fake accounts with Rs 1 crore balance opened in various banks in Mumbai and Delhi using fake PAN cards. The kingpin of the racket has been nabbed from Naya Nagar in Mira Road and the accounts frozen.

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Mohammed Arif Shaikh, who is a resident of Naya Nagar was caught with 11 PAN cards and several documents. Cops believe he is an expert in making the fake PAN cards and are currently probing on how he carried out the operation.

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Police have also arrested five others, who have been part of the scam in Delhi. They are Mangal Bishnoi, Amit Agarwal, Sameer Merchant alias Karan Sharma, Jitendra Rathod and Paresh Nisband. It was revealed that the victim had deposited money into their accounts.


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