The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) revealed information about an organised racket operated by three suspects who deceive the people posting online advertisements in order to steal money from their bank accounts.
The Computer Crime Investigation Division of the CID has already arrested the three persons involved in this racket in Kandy yesterday (16).
The suspects aged between 25 and 30 are residents of Kandy, Talatuoya and Medawachchiya.
A senior CID officer has told the Dinamina newspaper that these suspects call the phone numbers mentioned in online advertisements from phone numbers registered under others.
“They request the seller not to sell the item mentioned in that ad to anyone else. They plead with the seller and say they will deposit a little amount right away and the rest of the money will be paid in a few days. These people speak in such a way that the advertiser develops sympathy towards the caller and builds trust. Finally, after the advertiser expressed his interest in selling the product to these people, they ask for a bank account number in order to transfer money online. After transferring a little amount, these people talk to the advertiser to check if they have received. At the same time, they say that there is a code number and if possible to let them know what it is. Those who do not understand what this number is, give it right away. What happens is that these people use that number to access the account of the advertiser and get the money credited to another bank account,” he said.
The officer urged the public never to handover the password or the OTP number they receive from the bank to anyone else.
Investigations have revealed that all the three suspects arrested in Kandy are heavily addicted to drugs.
One suspect checks ads on social media sites and other websites and makes calls to the advertisers.
The other suspect sneaks into the advertiser’s accounts through the OTP number, steals the money and transfers it to another account.
The third suspect withdraws the money credited to the other account using an ATM card.
It has been revealed that they have infiltrated 80 bank accounts and stolen more than Rs.6 million.
The Computer Crime Investigation Division has received 20 complaints regarding such frauds.
The suspects have been arrested following a complaint filed by a Marawila resident who got caught in this fraud. He had posted an advertisement on a website to sell a generator.
The suspects have stolen Rs. 1.8 million from the victim.