Cloning the phone number of mobile banking agents and bank managers, it defrauded people
Mobile financial services have surged responding to unprecedented demand during the Covid-19 outbreak.
And the fraudsters are now finding new ways to con individuals and businesses to make as much money as they can out of that.
Cloning the phone number of mobile banking agents and bank managers, they are defrauding people.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Sarwar Bin Qasim revealed the information yesterday.
During a press briefing at RAB's Karwan Bazar Media Centre, he said, "People of all kind – poor, rich, educated or uneducated – are walking into the traps."
"Many people are getting cheated online through mobile financial services."
"Apart from the capital, such deception has also increased in different districts of the country. Scammers are cheating clients by cloning the banks' customer service number," Sarwar Bin Qasim also said.
Thirteen members of a fraud gang were arrested during raids in the capital and Faridpur yesterday.
About the gang, the RAB spokesperson said, "It was initially reported that a mastermind controlled the entire team. The hunter team would first collect the customers' mobile number and debit-credit card information."
"Then the gang would clone the helpline number of bKash or other mobile financial service providers. They even cloned the bankers' number."
"They would send Tk1,000 to people's number to earn their trust. A team of 10 people, pretending to be customer care executives, would call the customers."
"Sending a personal identification number (PIN) or code to the customers' number, they would tell them to send the code quickly. They threatened to block the customers' mobile banking account, else."
"Those who followed the gang's instructions fell into the trap. As fraudsters clone bank managers' and mobile banking agents' numbers, many customers fall for that."
"Upon receiving the money, the gang would withdraw it quickly from different parts of the country. For example, the gang members in Dhaka would send money to the ones in Sylhet or Chattogram."
"When they could not withdraw a large sum of money for a long time, they would either buy television, refrigerator, air conditioner or clothes through mobile banking services."
"They would collect customers' information from small shops such as liquor stores and bicycle shops. At the same time, they kept an eye on the law enforcement agencies to not go get exposed."
"During the primary interrogation, the gang said that they had misappropriated Tk1 crore in two months. It is also being investigated whether anyone from any of the banks is involved with them," Sarwar Bin Qasim said.