OSD to Delhi Chief Electoral Officer cheated of Rs 2,00,000 in ‘gift card’ fraud

An Officer on Special Duty (Elections) was allegedly cheated of Rs 2,00,000 last month after he got a message apparently from his senior, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh, asking him to transfer the amount to him in the form of e-commerce gift cards, the police said Monday.

According to the police, Jitendra Lal Gupta received the message on July 1 from a number with the profile photo of Singh, asking him for help as he was busy in an important meeting and was unable to make phone calls. Gupta was then allegedly requested to send e-commerce gift cards worth Rs 200,000.

According to SHO Pawan Tomar of the North District Cyber station, “Based on the IP location, the culprit is located in the city of Lagos in Nigeria. They hacked a local number in Kurukshetra. After this, they changed its profile picture to that of Dr Ranbir Singh to carry out this scam.”

According to the police, when Gupta tried to call on the number, he received a message saying he was in a meeting. He then received a link to purchase gift cards from the number.

They added that as Gupta clicked on the link, he found that his e-commerce account had been blocked. He subsequently bought gift cards worth Rs 2,00,000 through the e-commerce account of his colleague Sandeep Tiwari and paid through his bank account As he sent the link to the number, he was asked to send gift cards worth Rs 3 lakh.

At this point, Gupta contacted Singh on another number and was told by the senior official that he had not sent any messages regarding gift cards.

SHO Pawan Tomar said that many scammers have been using the “gift card” modus operandi of late.

The police said that a case had been registered under Section 420 of the IPC (cheating).

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