News Flash – 21 December 2019

National News



Malad Man Shares OTP’s with Delhi Con Call Centre, Loses Rs.2.4 Lakhs


Mumbai: A probe into a seemingly routine OTP fraud has led the Malad police to a ‘call centre’ running out of Delhi where youngsters are recruited to make phone calls with the intention of defrauding individuals across the country. Two persons have been arrested and are being interrogated to lead to the mastermind. Malad resident Manish Mahadik approached the police last month after losing Rs 2.4 lakh to a caller. Mahadik, who had registered himself on a job portal after paying a fee of Rs 4,200 in 2017, got a call on November 8 from someone claiming to be an employee of the job portal. He apologised for being unable to find him a job for two years and offered to refund the registration fee. To confirm Mahadik’s account, the caller sent a link for Rs 10 and Mahadik got the money. lakhs. After registering an FIR on November 13, the police started tracking the money trail. From Mahadik’s bank account, the sum went to an account on a property platform. The portal’s payment feature allows rent to be paid automatically every month when a customer enters payee and Pa-Now, the main transaction was set up, but this time the caller sent a collect payment request. Unaware, Mahadik clicked on the link and shared his OTP (one-time password).



Pretending that the OTP wasn’t getting accepted, the caller got him to click on a few more links and share OTPs, and Mahadik ended up losing year details. From this account, the sum was transferred to digital wallets and encashed through money transfer services offered at Jan Sewa Kendras in Delhi. Jan Sewa Kendras are run by NGOs to help citizens with digital services. The probe, led by senior inspector George Fernandes and assistant inspector Vivek Tambe, showed the fraudster had called Mahadik from Delhi’s Janakpuri. Inquiries revealed a man would turn up often at Jan Sewa Kendras to encash money from digital wallets. Vishal Sharma, 35, was detained and revealed the existence of a call centre in a rented location where youngsters between 18 and 24 were hired to defraud people. The cons changed numbers and location often, and were given phone numbers by the masterminds to target. The police team also picked up Dilshad Ali Khan, a physically challenged man who coached the youths on how to smooth-talk and con people. Both men have been booked under IPC and IT Act and remanded to police custody for seven days on Thursday.



Dense Fog Delays 300 Flights at IGI Airport



New Delhi: Over 300 flights were delayed at Indira Gandhi International Airport on Friday, as a thick blanket of fog engulfed the capital. Visibility fell to zero in the early hours, with dense fog also recorded in the evening. In addition to flight delays, at least five diversions were recorded in the morning and another 19 flights were cancelled, airport officials said. “Around 11 departures and eight arrivals were cancelled due to bad weather at destinations. Another five flights were diverted due to the adverse weather, which prevailed both in the morning and evening,” said an IGI official. Delays started as early as 5.30am when visibility fell to zero at Palam, while it was 300 metre at Safdarjung. Airport operations were severely impacted for nearly three hours with visibility recorded around 50 metre at Palam and 200 metre at Safdarjung. Met officials said conditions only started improving around 11am, while visibility touched 500 metre at Palam by 2.30pm. At 7am, IGI airport tweeted, “Due to bad weather, flight operations at #DelhiAirport are affected. While take-offs and landings continue, some flights are impacted due to crew operational limitations. Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information. Any inconvenience caused is regretted”.



Man Loses Rs.1.5 Crore to Online Fraudsters



Bengaluru: A 59-year-old businessman from Banashankari, south Bengaluru, fell prey to herbal medicine fraud and lost nearly Rs 1.5 crore to Scamsters via online transactions. Muralidhara approached the cybercrime wing of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Wednesday with a complaint against four men. He said the quartet offered him a business deal to become the vendor of a pharma firm. Trusting them, Muralidhara transferred nearly Rs 1.5 crore via multiple transactions to the three bank accounts provided by them. He filed a complaint only after realising he’d been cheated. According to police, the businessman claimed he came in contact with the main suspect, Scott Coffey, through a business and employment portal in October.



“We began chatting online and he asked me to provide my email ID to send his business proposal. I provided my personal details and received an email from He offered me the chance to become a vendor for a pharma company, which is into making herbal medicines for cancer treatment,” police quoted the complainant as saying. Muralidhara received an email from another ID of another accused claiming to be Dr Jordan, confirming he had been appointed the vendor. On October 9, the accused asked the complainant to contact Sunita Sharma to get the medicines. Muralidhara got in touch with Sunita, who advised him to deposit Rs 1.5 crore in accounts in three banks to get the medicine stocks. Muralidhara agreed but soon realised he had been cheated as there was no progress on the business front and the suspects became incommunicado, police said. Cybercrime police have registered a case of cheating. The businessman has identified the suspects as Scott Coffey, Jordan, Sunita Sharma and Morris Goldberg.

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