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Hyderabad: 8 arrested for cheating shopkeepers using ‘payATM spoof’ app; valuables worth over Rs 75,000 recovered

Police commissioner Anjani Kumar told reporters that the accused used fake apps that look like Paytm and Google Pay to cheat shopkeepers

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad |
Updated: February 3, 2021 8:49:53 pm
Panchkula police, Panchkula extortion case, SIT probe, Panchkula arrest, CHandigarh news, Haryana news, Indian express newsThe FIR had been filed under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 384 (extortion) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. (Representational)

The Hyderabad Police arrested eight youth for cheating shopkeepers using fake payment gateway apps. According to the police, the youth were involved in four criminal cases registered in different police stations in the city. At least 22 pairs of trousers and 20 shirts worth Rs 28,000, sports items worth Rs 8,500, groceries worth Rs 10,700, and a gold ring worth Rs 28,000, were recovered from their possession.

On Wednesday, the police arrested Mohd Mustafa Hussain Muzakir (20), Syed Aamir Hassan (24), Syed Iliyas (25), Syed Wajeed Ali (27), Hafeez Rana (23), MohdSalman (20), Mohd. Abdul Shahed (22), Mohd Yousuf (18). All are Hyderabad residents. Two cases of cheating and theft were registered in Kanchanbagh police station, and one each at Chandrayangutta and Mirchowk police stations.

Police commissioner Anjani Kumar told reporters that the accused used fake apps that look like Paytm and Google Pay to cheat shopkeepers. They downloaded an app called “spoof PayATM” and cheated shopkeepers after making purchases. “Online business and online payment activities have been on the rise lately and some criminals are finding ways to misuse the system by creating fake data, dashboards, etc to cheat the public,” said Kumar.

According to police, the accused enter a store, shop for some items, and ask for a bill. They request the storekeepers that the payment will be made via Paytm. “They decamp with the purchased goods after showing that the amount was paid via payatm spoof, which is a fake payment done through the fake app. Later, the cashier learns that the payment was not done and that he was cheated,” said a statement from police.

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The accused learnt about the spoof app through YouTube videos, and downloaded it via the Google Play store. Though some of the apps have been deleted by Google, police say that some still continue to be available on the platform. In an advisory to the public, the Commissioner asked everyone to stay alert about such fake apps and report any such instances immediately to the concerned police authorities.

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