On February 10, 2024, Pune’s cybercrime police station received a complaint from a 46-year-old man who fell victim to a property rental scam orchestrated by a cyber fraudster impersonating an Army officer. This incident sheds light on a growing trend of cybercrime cases where fraudsters pose as military personnel to deceive unsuspecting victims.
According to the complaint, the victim had advertised a flat on an online property portal on behalf of his brother. In September 2023, he received a call from an individual claiming to be an Army officer who stated that he was being transferred to an Army formation in Khadki and would be relocating to Pune with his family. The fraudster and the victim discussed rental terms, maintenance charges, and the one-time deposit for the property, which were agreed upon by the victim and the impersonator.
To gain the victim’s trust, the fraudster provided fabricated documents such as an Army identity card, Army canteen card, and passport-sized photos of what appeared to be official documents like Aadhar Card and PAN Card.
The scam progressed further when the impersonator claimed that the rental formalities would be handled by the Military Administration Department. Subsequently, the victim received a call from an individual purporting to be an officer from the Military Administration Department, who demanded Rs 60,000 to register the victim’s phone number, promising to refund the money after registration.
Over the course of several hours, the victim was coerced into transferring a significant sum of money multiple times under the guise that the funds had not been received by the fraudster. In total, the victim transferred 20.8 lakh rupees. However, upon requesting the return of the funds, the fraudster only provided a screenshot showing 14.3 lakh rupees, leaving the victim realizing he had been swindled.
In response, the victim promptly lodged a complaint with the cybercrime police station. The case is now under investigation by Senior Inspector Minal Supe Patil, as authorities work to bring the perpetrators to justice.