Phone scam gang caught, five arrested in Istanbul
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoPolice in Istanbul conducted an operation against a phone scam gang on Oct. 19, detaining 50 suspects, including the five leaders of the group, who were later arrested on charges of forming an illegal organization.
After receiving 22 denunciations by victims who made complaints that they were called and told that they had won prizes but needed to make payments to receive them, police teams traced the phone scam gang to the Esenyurt district of Istanbul and carried out a raid on their office, detaining a total of 50 people who were suspected of being involved in the fraud.
Five suspects, Murat K., 43; Hüseyin B., 19; Volkan K., 19; Adem G., 45; and Sezer A., 48, who were identified to be the leaders of the gang, were arrested by a court, while the other 45 were released after a police interrogation.
According to reports, victims were phoned by the gang members and were told that they had won rewards from their shopping transactions, and if they transferred the required payment, their rewards would be sent to their addresses. However, after making the payments, victims were sent teabags, massage creams, libido drugs as well as broken wristwatches and broken mobile phones.
One of the victims said the suspects introduced themselves as personnel of the Technology General Directorate and told him he had won a coupon worth 2,750 Turkish Liras from his previous shoppings.
“I was told that I was going to receive 1,000 liras of the reward as a coupon and the remaining amount would be paid by rewarding me with a smart phone. I sent 169 liras, which was required for the transaction expenses, via a post office. However, I received a broken mobile phone in the package I received,” said the victim.
Some other victims, meanwhile, said some of the fraudsters introduced themselves as law enforcement officers and told them they were indebted. They were also told subpoenas would be carried out by officials if they did not make payments beforehand.
Police also seized 56 computers suspected of being used for illegal activities by the gang and found that tens of thousands of mobile phone numbers had personal information contained on the devices. The teams are working to find how the gang members collected the information.