Different gangs of swindlers are using the mobile phone to trick people into paying them money. Some gangs use the element of surprise and fear by posing as spiritual maestros or ‘Jinn er badshah’, while others play on the greed of people as they offer big prizes, to achieve which, money needs to be sent to certain mobile phone numbers.
Recently, law enforcement authorities made a number of arrests signifying the alarming increase in these incidents in the capital and across Bangladesh.
Few months back, members of the Rapid Action Battalion-4 arrested 10 members of a gang involved in fraudulent activities from Savar near the outskirts of the capital. The news reports quoting a RAB-4 official reported that the suspects posed as representatives of a cellphone company and convinced their victims that they had been specially selected to win big prizes like cars, motorcycles and cash money that can be collected only if they transferred money through bKash to specified mobile numbers.
After the unsuspecting victims transferred the amount of money to these numbers, they usually found the same mobile numbers, from which they were called, switched off. In this regard, after the operation conducted by RAB, ASP Mahfuza, Operation Officer of RAB-4, told news agencies that they have received similar complaints from many victims.
From the arrestees, the elite force members also seized 32 mobile SIM cards and 15 mobile phones, with which they ran their racket over the years.
Last month, a team of RAB-1 busted another gang of five members from Badda area in Dhaka for involvement in fraudulent activities over phones, according to news reports. The group was using the same technique as the former group to dupe people into paying them money.
From the group, the RAB also seized 15 SIM cards, 13 mobile phones and also some fake identity cards of a leading mobile phone operator company.
There are other methods using the similar communication technology of mobile phones. Few days back, the younger sister of a Dhaka-based online journalist lost more than Tk 10,000 when she encountered such a trap.
‘One day I got a text message from a random Grameen Phone number, where it was written that Tk 10,000 was deposited to my bKash wallet,’ she says. Although shocked, she was elated that she has somehow received such an amount of money.
Five minutes later she received a phone call from a person claiming to be a bKash agent named Asgar