The 12th-grader, with the help of police, developed a make-believe relationship with the bKash fraudster who stole her money
He thought he had got away with stealing a college student’s money. He thought he was about to have a girlfriend. He was wrong on both counts.
In what can be called a watered down version of honey trapping, a college student in Rajshahi recovered Tk51,000 stolen from her bKash account, by pretending to be romantically interested in the man who had tricked her into giving him her PIN and stole her money.
The ruse was planned by the detectives of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP).
The fraudster and his accomplice – identified as Hasan Khan, 19, and Mahmud Hasan alias Bayezid, 19 – were detained on Sunday when they went to meet the student.
Both are from Faridpur’s Bhanga upazila.
Police say the duo are professional conmen, who steal from bKash account holders by tricking them into giving up their personal identification numbers (PIN).
The RMP detectives recovered a total of Tk76,000 from the two men.
Deputy Commissioner Abu Ahmed Al Mamun of the RMP’s Detective Branch confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
The victim, from whom the arrestees had stolen the money, is a student of Class 12 at Rajshahi New Government Degree College, he said.
He said on November 16, the 12th-grader received a call from an unknown number. When she answered, the caller identified himself as a teacher at her college.
“It was Hasan,” Deputy Commissioner Mamun said. “He told her the government was distributing Covid-19 stipends to students through bKash and that she was eligible. But he told her that the bKash number where the government was to send the money must have a minimum balance of Tk50,000.”
Believing what Hasan told her, the student, consulting her guardians, collected Tk50,000 and deposited it in her bKash account, adding to some money she already had in the account.
“After she informed Hasan that her account had adequate balance, he tricked her into giving him the PIN to her account. Then he withdrew Tk51,000 from her account,” Deputy Commissioner Mamun told Dhaka Tribune.
When she realized she had been conned, the student went to the RMP Detective Branch.
“She told me what happened,” the DB deputy commissioner said. “I advised her to start speaking to Hasan by using another number. Since they had not spoken much before, we reckoned he might not recognize her voice.”
And Hasan did not. The student began talking to him by using a new number. Hasan did not suspect anything and became very interested in her, started to woo her. The victim kept up the ruse as planned, and agreed to date him when he asked her,” Mamun said. “In the meantime, she kept us informed of all the developments.”
The pretended relationship progressed quite quickly and, following the detectives’ advice, the student asked Hasan to meet her, and he agreed.
Along with Mahmud, Hasan went to Lakshmipur Intersection in Rajshahi city on Sunday, hoping to meet the student. As soon as they made contact with her, a team of RMP detectives, who were there waiting for them, detained the duo.
They were shown arrested in a case under the Digital Security Act, filed with Rajpara police station by the student’s father, and were sent to jail on Monday.