Cyberabad police busted a Rs 50 crore global credit card scam in Hyderabad and arrested a 7-member interstate gang of fraudsters. The accused were from Delhi and Hyderabad, who were cheating foreign customers under the pretense of providing technical services. A fake call center was busted in Mohali, Punjab, by Cyber Crime police of Cyberabad Commissionarate following an investigation launched after a complaint was lodged by Abdul Nayeem, authorized signatory of HDFC Bank Credit Intelligence and Control Unit.
Nayeem sought action against a merchant for multiple suspicious transactions happening on the swiping machine issued to them. Incidentally, transactions were done through 85 different international cards to the tune of Rs 64.40 lakh between December 18 and 23, 2021. The accused mostly targeted residents of the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Australia, according to Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Raveendra. The gang was involved in cheating payment gateways.
The gang included Naveen Bhutani, Mohit and Monu from Delhi and Nagaraju Bondada, Donthula Sravan Kumar, Sadhanala Mukkanti Srinivasa Rao, and Pavan Vennelakanti from Hyderabad. The police seized Rs 1.11 crore in cash, three four-wheelers, laptops, mobile phones, checkbooks, and debit cards from them.
As for their modus operandi, Naveen Bhutani, along with Monu, established three call centers at various places like Janakpuri in New Delhi, Kaushambi of Ghaziabad, and Mohali of Punjab for cheating customers under the guise of providing technical services. Also, Naveen happens to run Google ad campaigns with his contact numbers in Australia, the UK, and Singapore for his companies providing technical services to solve problems relating to PayPal, Amazon, and technical devices like routers, internet.
When customers responded to Google ads, they were made to pay through payment gateway links provided by Mohit. The gateway links were collected through Nagaraju and Srinivas, who were offered 50 percent commission. The accused were also cheating people through inbound calls generated through phishing emails and SMS about their recent purchase. And the gang would access card credentials during remote access and use the same for transactions later as OTPs or PINs are not required for international transactions.
Also, Naveen and his associates were cheating customers from these countries by obtaining their mobile numbers and transaction history through various websites after dialing them to get the OTP sent to their mobiles. Then the fraudster tele-callers would call in to say their email accounts have been compromised and offer technical support and grab credit card details, expiry date, and CVV for further use.
It’s important to note that the accused were making payments during the night hours of the respective countries so that the customers could not block or report fraud.