HYDERABAD: Armed with a fake letter, fraudsters posed as cybercrime officials and managed to transfer Rs 1.18 crore from a Kolkata bank account, earlier frozen on the request of Hyderabad police, in the multi-city loan app fraud case.
The incident occurred in April, but came to light on Monday when an ICICI bank official lodged a complaint with Hyderabad cybercrime police about an attempt by fraudsters to siphon off money from frozen bank accounts in their Gurgaon branch.
On April 21, a man approached an ICICI branch in Alipore, Kolkata with a fake letter saying that the officer in-charge, cyber cell police, Lal Bazaar, Kolkata, has directed the bank to unfreeze 12 accounts and transfer the amount to an SBI account.
“The fraudster also showed a fake police identity card and without even asking how Kolkata police can give instructions to the bank about the case investigated by Hyderabad police, the bank officials transferred Rs 1.18 crore to the SBI account as mentioned in the letter,” cybercrime ACP KVM Prasad said.
“From the SBI account, the money was transferred to multiple accounts at various places and withdrawn immediately,” he added.
Police sources said that Rs 1.18 crore was initially transferred to an SBI account of Anand J in RGI Airport SBI branch. “The details of the account holder are fake,” police said.
As part of a loan app fraud case, Telangana police had registered 28 cases, involving 211 apps and arrested 32 accused. Police wrote to banks and froze 1125 accounts across the country containing about Rs 190 crore.
Similarly, in the third week of April, fraudsters sent a fake letter in the name of Hyderabad cybercrime police to Udyog Vihar branch of ICICI bank in Gurgaon asking them to unfreeze 39 accounts linked to a loan app fraud case registered in Hyderabad.
“In the letter instructions were given to transfer the amount from frozen accounts to four beneficiary accounts. But the bank officials sensed something was wrong and alerted their Hyderabad office,” the ACP said.
Bank officials verified with police and realised that the letter was fake and during the subsequent inquiry found out about the fraud at Kolkata.
On Monday, a representative of ICICI bank lodged a complaint with police and a forgery case was registered.
“We have registered a case under Sections 66-d of the IT Act, 419, 420, 468 and 471 of the IPC, pertaining to the fake Hyderabad police letter received by the ICICI bank in Gurgaon. The bank filed a separate complaint in Kolkata about the fraud committed in Alipore,” cybercrime Inspector D Prashant said.