Fraudsters pose as IRS officer, dupe colleagues to buy gift cards – The Indian Express

The principal chief commissioner of the Income Tax department in Mumbai has lodged a complaint with the Azad Maidan police after some unknown fraudsters tried to dupe her colleagues by allegedly impersonating her on Whatsapp and sending messages requesting them to buy Amazon Play gift cards.

The senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, Geetha Ravichandran, in her statement to the police has said she was earlier posted in Chennai and recently took charge in Mumbai on April 25. She is the head of the Income tax department in Mumbai. The financial capital contributes upto 32 per cent of India’s total tax making it the largest region in terms of tax collection.

However, since taking charge, she received calls from her colleagues in Chennai on April 26, informing her that they were receiving messages from 8318597422 and 7674986327 where the sender was posing as Ravichandran and requesting them to purchase Amazon Play gift cards.

The police said that in order to make their claims seem more genuine, the fraudsters used Ravichandran’s photo on the display picture of the Whatsapp numbers from which they were allegedly sending messages to her colleagues in the I-T department.

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“The fraudsters further ensured that her name was displayed on the Truecaller application. As and when the complainant’s colleagues checked on the Truecaller application, it showed that the numbers belonged to Ravichandran,” said an officer from Azad Maidan police station. After learning of the fraud, the senior IRS officer submitted a complaint application at the south region cyber cell office of the Mumbai Police.

While the investigation was being conducted by the cyber cell officers, Ravichandran’s colleagues at the Mumbai office started receiving similar messages. “On June 1, my colleagues Devdasan and Jahanjeb Akhtar received similar messages. I was further informed that the display pictures on those Whatsapp numbers were of me,” Ravichandran told the police.

The investigators revealed that they are trying to trace the culprits through the call data record of the numbers from which the complainant’s colleagues were contacted.

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