Hyderabad: An interstate gang, including an IT engineer, a research scholar and a few businessmen, cloned credit cards of foreign nationals in the US, UK and Australia and swindled about Rs 30 lakh from their accounts.
The gang’s golden run came to an end on Friday when the Rachakonda Special Operations Team and the Cyber Cell police arrested five of them. Fifteen businessmen, who were also part of the racket, are at large and efforts are on the nab them.
Those arrested were Ayyappan alias Rajesh (30), an IT engineer from Chennai; P Raghavendra (32), a research scholar from Rajendranagar; P Vamshi Krishna alias Akhil (25), a car-dealer from Kothapet; and businessmen C Bhaskar Rao (43) from Visakhapatnam and S Bhaskar (42) from Bhongir.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat said the gang procured data of credit cards of foreigners from various websites and cloned them before swiping them at point of sale (PoS) machines owned by the businessmen who colluded with them. Once the amount was credited in the businessmen’s account, they would share it on 60-40 percentage basis.
Ayyappan learned the trick of cloning credit cards after getting in touch with people doing the same. “He purchased data of credit card holders, especially those in the USA, UK and Australia, by contacting data providers through Dark Net. The procured data was then verified through an application called BIN Checker. The cards would then be cloned using a device purchased from e-commerce websites over the Dark Net,”he said, adding that in this manner the gang swindled nearly Rs 30 lakh till now.
In order to withdraw money, the gang developed contacts with businessmen who owned PoS machines in Hyderabad, Kakinada and Guntur. The illegal business came to light after the Cyber Cell team was alerted by a bank of a shady transaction through one of the PoS machines, Bhagwat said.
Police seized PoS machines, laptops, credit and debit cards and other incriminating material from the suspects, who were produced before court and remanded in judicial custody.