A group of fraudsters allegedly procured PAN details of several Bollywood actors and cricketers from their GST Identification Numbers which are available online, and got credit cards issued in their names from Pune-based fintech startup ‘One Card’.
Some of the celebrities whose names and details were used by the fraudsters are Abhishek Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Madhuri Dixit, Emraan Hashmi and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Shahadra Rohit Meena said.
The company got to know about the fraud only after the fraudsters used some of these cards to purchase products worth Rs 21.32 lakh. It immediately alerted the Delhi Police which swung into action and arrested five of them.
“The five accused, identified as Puneet, Mohd Asif, Sunil Kumar, Pankaj Mishar and Vishwa Bhaskar Sharma, acted in close coordination to defraud the company in a very unusual manner,” said Delhi Police.
It is to be mentioned that when they were interrogated, they disclosed their unique modus operandi. They used to get GST details of these celebrities from Google. They were very well aware that the first two digits of GSTIN are state code and the next 10 digits are PAN number.
They forged their Aadhaar details in similar fashion. After getting this information, they applied for credit cards. During video verification, they were asked questions related to their financial activities which they answered easily as they had got all such details from CIBIL.
Moreover, they were aware that the online verification system cannot identify Abhishek Bachchan as a film star. So the picture of accused Pankaj Mishra with Abhishek Bachchan’s PAN and Aadhaar details worked well to get a card issued.
Further, the Police informed that they did online research for several months to find ways to use loopholes in the online verification and issuance of credit cards.