Though the victim, Sudha Sridharan of Mandaveli, a school teacher, had claimed the insurance claim after the death of her husband Sridharan, an IRS officer, these fraudsters contacted her over phone in 2019 claiming that she was eligible for Rs 19 lakh more from the insurance firm.
When they asked her deposit a sum to get the money, she agreed and transferred money on multiple occasions to the tune of Rs 2.13 crore, which included some of her fixed deposits.
Based on her complaint to the Central Crime Branch (CCB), the bank fraud prevention wing registered a case and went to Delhi after preliminary inquiries. But they were unable to make any headway, as the fraudsters had called from SIM cards procured with fake identity credentials. Also, the bank accounts into which she deposited money were opened using bogus Aadhaar and PAN numbers.
After gathering dust in 2020 due to the lockdown, there was a breakthrough when the police traced and secured the persons to whose accounts the money were transferred from the bogus accounts.
The gang members were identified as J Aman Prasad (29), R Pradeep Kumar (29), S Manoj Kumar (44), L Kuber Sharma (27), and U Himanshu Dahi (25) of Delhi, and H Rampul (30) of Bihampur.
A senior official told DT Next that they were colleagues at a call centre before starting out on their own. “They bought the data of those who had recently claimed insurance amount and called them posing as representatives of the insurance firms. Their modus operandi was to woo them claiming that they can claim some more money from the insurance firm and swindle their money by making them transfer the money to an account as precautionary deposit,” said the official.
After checking their bank accounts, officials found that their latest victim was from West Bengal who lost Rs 5 lakh. The police team seized documents of the houses that they purchased recently in Delhi, said the official, adding that steps were on to attach their properties. The accused were remanded in judicial custody on Saturday.