FIA arrests ‘online fraudster’
Karachi: The Cyber Crime Circle of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested a man on Thursday for allegedly swindling a citizen through an online fraud scam.
An official said the circle received a complaint from a man, Tanzeel Khan, who said he contacted an online shopping website “Saqiscity.com” and ordered in a motherboard, a processor, a RAM card, a graphics card and a computer casing.
The total worth of the goods was Rs122,000, and Khan was asked to pay the amount through online banking. He deposited the amount in a private bank account in two installments, one of Rs77,000 and the other of Rs46,000.
After making the payment, he called up Iqbal at a number mentioned on the website to confirm if he had received the money. Iqbal confirmed receiving the money and thanked Khan.
When the complainant called the alleged fraudster some days later, he told him he was going to shop the goods overland and the goods would take three to four days to arrive. After two days, Khan called him on March 24, but Iqbal did not answer his call. He tried the office number but to no avail.
He called Iqbal on his other contact numbers repeatedly but only heard the recorded messages “I am in a meeting, will call you back later, or will call you in 15 minutes”.
A couple of days later, Iqbal texted him that he had met with an accident and was in hospital. After two days, Khan called him again, but his call went unanswered. Later on March 31, he again started calling the suspect, who texted him at about 2:30pm that the shipment was sent to a wrong address and the courier company would get it back and deliver it to his address as soon as possible.
Later, the affected citizen called his friend, Naqeeb, seeking his help to locate the fraudster. Naqeeb called back saying the company was a fraud. Khan then complained to the Cyber Crime Circle, which investigated and found that Saqisct.com was an online shopping website hosted by an organization, which provided Iqbal’s cellphone number and addresses — Al-Hafeez Shopping Mall, Gulberg, Lahore, and also of Star City Mall, Abdullah Haroon Road, Karachi.
A team raided the address on Abdullah Haroon Road and found it to be an office of a registered company, whose officials said they had been working there for the past one year and no person under the name of Saqib Iqbal was doing any business there. Iqbal’s PTCL number showed him to be a resident of Garden East.
FIA officials visited a flat in Residency Building, Garden East, and arrested Iqbal. He confirmed the website was registered in his name and he had swindled Khan out of Rs122,000