Seven people from Telangana, including an Axis Bank deputy manager, have been arrested by the cyber crime police in Bengaluru for allegedly hacking into people’s bank accounts using mobile banking apps and stealing money. The accused had hacked Axis Bank’s mobile wallet app LIME and SBI’s Buddy app, said the police.
Those arrested have been identified as G Gopalakrishna alias Gopi (30), deputy manager of Axis Bank’s Peddapalli branch in the Karimnagar district of Telangana, V Nageshwara Reddy (27), G Veerabrahmam alias Rohit Sharma alias Premanand alias Premkumar (23), CH Ramana alias Ramana Reddy (45), N Ramesh (30), CS Padmaja (35) and her brother CS Kiran (33).
According to the police, the gang obtained bank account details of its victims, including their mobile phone numbers, and then obtained duplicate SIM cards in the names of the customers by filing fake police reports about the loss of SIM cards. Using the duplicate SIM cards, the gang then transferred funds from the victim’s bank accounts to their own fake mobile numbers using mobile banking apps. The gang later withdrew the stolen money through Axis Bank ATMs.
Police said Gopi provided details of accounts of customers with large balances in Axis Bank branches in Karnataka while Nageshwara Reddy and Anand obtained duplicate SIM cards. They also changed mobile plans from prepaid to postpaid.
The activities of the gang came to light after a retired chairman and MD of National Hydro Electric Power Corporation S R Narasimhan approached the cyber crime police in Bengaluru and filed a complaint that on December 29, 2015, his mobile number was found terminated. His Axis Bank savings account had been hacked into and Rs 1,80,375 debited through 17 transactions between December 4 and December 5, 2015.
The retired official also reported that his mobile connection had changed from prepaid to postpaid without his knowledge. The CID police in Karnataka formed a team headed by cyber crime deputy superintendent of police M D Sharath to investigate the case.
“The investigation has revealed that the gang also hacked the SBI Buddy application and transferred money. Some cases in this connection have been registered in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. They also committed similar offences in Tamil Nadu. We have shared information about the gang with our counterparts,” a police officer said.
The police suspect that the gang might be involved in similar cases in Karnataka.