The social media crime investigation team of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's (DMP) Cyber and Special Crime Division has conducted a special operation and arrested 9 members of a bKash fraud ring, including its leader.
The arrested members of the fraud ring are- Md Saiful Islam (22), Md Liton Hossain (23), Md Jubayer Sheikh (22), Md Golam Kibria Mondol (19), Md Imran Mollah (23), Md Shaon Hossain Mondol (18), Minjarul Islam Mollah (25), Md Ashraf Mollah (26) and Sagar Ahmed (25).
These individuals were arrested on Friday from different areas of Dhaka and Gazipur districts, said a press release issued by DMP on Saturday.
Five mobile phones of different models, 10 SIM cards and a laptop used in the scam were recovered during the operation.
According to the preliminary interrogation done by the police, the members of the ring are divided into 4 groups and carry out fraudulent activities.
The first group of fraudsters worked at field-level and stood in various bKash outlets to monitor customer transactions. They then took photos of the record book to track recent transactions. The photos were later sent to a WhatsApp group, enabling other ring members to see the transaction history, the release said.
The second group of fraudsters would then call bKash customers, taking their contact information from the photos of the transaction book. Masking themselves as shopkeepers of bKash outlets, they would ask bKash account-holders questions regarding their transactions, to verify if they had recently cashed out from their accounts.
If the account holders replied that they had not withdrawn money, then the fraud ring members would use various tricks and techniques to scam them, the release added.
These fraudsters would tell the bKash user about complaints of various transactions from their shop, and that while blocking those faulty accounts, the customer's account had also been accidentally locked. They would then urge the customer to get in touch with the bKash office to get the issue resolved.
Later, a third group of fraudsters would call these same customers and introduce themselves as bKash customer care service officers. These fraudsters would call the bKash user's cell phone by cloning the bKash office number through various online apps, the release added.
They would then use various tricks and force the bKash customer to divulge their one-time password (OTP) and bKash pin code.
Once the victim's account was hacked, the fraud ring would ask the account holder to send various amounts of money to their own account, and other accounts operated by the scamming ring.
Once the money reached the accounts managed by the fraud ring, a fourth team would then cash out the money from various outlets across the country. Since the accounts change hands multiple times, the locations of these fraudsters cannot be easily narrowed down.
Cases have been filed against these individuals at Ramna Model Police Station, the release said.