The Hyderabad Police on Wednesday arrested eight people for using fake mobile wallet apps and duping businessmen in the city. The accused downloaded a clone version of Paytm called 'Paytm Spoof' from Google playstore to carry out the crime.
The arrested are Mohd Mustafa Hussain (20), a student from Dabeerpura; Syed Aamir Haassan(24), salesman from Asif Nagar; Syed Wajeed (27), a daily wager and Syed Iliyas (25), a plumber, both residents of Syednagar in Hyderabad.
According to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, the accused would pretend to make payments through the fake app Paytm Spoof, which would generate bills exactly like the original app, and hoodwink shopkeepers. The incidents came to light after at least four complainants were defrauded to the tune of Rs 95,000 by the accused. The recovered items include branded clothes and grocery items worth Rs 50,000 and a gold ring worth Rs 28,000.
"The accused downloaded the fake app from Google Playstore after watching tutorials on YouTube. They could easily dupe the shopkeepers because the user interface of the fake app was exactly like the original one. It was only later that the victims understood that the payments were not reflecting in their bank accounts and that they had been deceived," Kumar told News18.
Paytm Spoof has now been taken down by Google but cops alert there are many such fraudulent apps operating on distribution platforms.
"We urge people to be wary of such fake apps and use strong passwords to protect their private data. Cybercrimes have been on the rise as the volume of digital transactions have amplified exponentially", the Hyderabad Police chief advised.