The Anti-Bank Fraud Wing of the Central Crime Branch (CCB), Chennai, has busted a Delhi-based gang, which duped people with offers of hassle-free and low interest loans.
The gang allegedly conned people in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala by collecting fees after promising them loans in the names of firms such as Tamilar Finance, Varalakshmi Finance and Bajaj Finance.
The CCB had registered a case on a complaint from Kanakalakshmi, of Pallikaranai, who lost ₹82,000. During the investigation, they stumbled upon more such complaints and the special team, after analysing call records and mobile phone tower locations, zeroed in on the accused in Delhi.
After camping in the national capital for the last 10 days, during which they searched in Dabri, Vikas Puri, Virender Nagar and surrounding areas, the team arrested M. Ashok Kumar, 28, A. Kamatchi, 30, of Dabri Main Extension, D. Rajavel, 25, of Palam, and Abhishek Pal, 24, of Mohan Garden. Mobile phones, SIM cards and records relating to bank transactions and other documents were seized from them. The four were produced before a court and brought to the city.
The criminals would randomly call people and introduce themselves as representatives of finance firms before making them a special loan offer. They would promise them hassle-free loans at very low interest rates. If the victim agreed, the call would be transferred to a person dubbed ‘master’.
The gang would then ask the victims to send documents over WhatsApp or e-mail, and then send them a fake loan approval letter. They would then ask them to deposit a fee in a particular bank account under file charges, refundable security amount and processing fees.
They would switch off their mobile phones after collecting the money.
Police sources said the gang procured SIM cards through agents using the identity proof of daily wage labourers at liquor shops and platform dwellers for ₹500 to ₹1,000, which they used to call their targets. They also opened bank accounts and obtained cheque books, credit/debit cards and SIM cards in the name of shelterless persons.
The police also suspect that the gang cheated people after receiving processing fees by posing as leading telecom service providers to lease out their land to set up mobile communication towers.
The following must be kept in mind to avoid being victim of Loan fraud:
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