Six held over fake education loans

As many as 700 people duped of over Rs. 2 crore; gang used names of established companies

An inter-State gang that allegedly duped around 700 people of more than Rs. 2 crore by offering them fake education loans has been busted with the arrest of six persons, the police said on Wednesday.

The suspects were nabbed on Tuesday following raids at their hideouts in Rohini, Nangloi and other parts of Delhi. The gang mainly lured unsuspecting people through newspaper advertisements and had even acquired toll-free numbers for contacting their victims. Anyone seeking educational loans would be promised money just on the basis of their degree certificates and marksheets, said Omvir Singh, DCP (East).

Newspaper ads

 he syndicate came to the notice of the police in March this year when a young woman from east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar approached the police to complain about having been duped.

More demands

The woman had come across an advertisement of a certain ‘Reliance Capital Finance’ in a newspaper. It later emerged that to sound genuine, this gang used the names of established companies like Reliance Finance and Bajaj Capital to dupe their victims, said the DCP. When she approached the company for a loan of Rs. 4 lakh against her marksheets, the fraudsters allegedly demanded Rs. 5,400 on the pretext of processing fee. Once she had deposited that money in their bank account, she was asked to part with an additional Rs. 17,500 for getting her application approved by the Reserve Bank of India.

When even that did not fetch the loan amount she approached the people, who demanded a further Rs. 33,500 for loan approval.

By this time, the woman realised she was being cheated and approached the police. The DCP said his team’s probe involved scrutinising the bank accounts of the suspects, their call records, social media profiles and CCTV footage of different locations.

Fake IDs

However, the probe only revealed that they had used fake and fabricated IDs to go about their business. The police then decided to pursue them with whatever technical help they had. Their efforts paid off and the six suspects were nabbed on Tuesday.

The questioning of the suspects revealed that they had been working with each other for only two years. The alleged masterminds of the syndicate were Deepak Sharma, Rajesh Kumar and Neeraj Sharma.

They told the police they opened bank accounts with SBI and Punjab National Bank using fake IDs. The gang chose newspaper advertisements to reach out to their victims.

Call centre

To come across as genuine to their potential victims, they named themselves after known financial brands and procured toll-free helpline numbers of the 1800 series. They also set up a full-fledged call centre from where their executives would call the prospective victims, asking them to send scanned copies of their marksheets.

The police said that once they had the victims convinced, they would allegedly extract money till they suspected fraud. Then they would sever all communication with them by destroying their SIM cards as well as mobile phones.

[Source:-The Hindu]

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