Duping students, parents over stipend
During the pandemic, fraudsters identifying themselves as education board staff, pocketed a significant amount of money from students and guardians through mobile financial services (MFS).
They did this by calling and texting unassuming victims, and telling them that their stipend has been paid. Then the criminals convinced them to give codes of MFS accounts. Many have lost a hefty amount of money by falling into the trap.
Tracing the fraudulent activities, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) claimed to have arrested three people from the capital's Matuail and Faridpur on Wednesday. The arrestees are Ashikur Rahman, the ringleader, Saiful Sardar and Moktar Hossain.
Speaking at a press conference at CID headquarters yesterday, Special Superintendent of Police Mukta Dhar said stipends were suspended during the pandemic, and fraudsters exploited the situation.
Regarding the method, Mukta said a gang member first takes pictures of the list of customers at an agent's shop. He then sends the picture to another member.
The second person's job is to collect the target MFS account's pin code. Fraudsters gain credibility by calling and talking to students and parents, after sending official-looking messages. At one stage of the conversation, the victims give away PIN and verification codes. Another gang member would then use the codes to make transactions, effectively stealing the money.
The CID official said the team leader cashed out the money and distributed it among each member.