A 45-year-old herbal seed dealer from Bandra was duped of Rs17 lakh by perpetrators who posed as buyers and suppliers of a rare seed.
The crime dates back to the last week of September 2016, when the dealer was contacted by a London-based buyer, Good Health, seeking the rare danko seeds. Following this inquiry, the dealer sent out a word in the market that she was in urgent need of the seeds and got a call from a supplier a few days later. The two struck a deal and she purchased seeds worth Rs17 lakh.
An officer from Bandra police station said, “The availability of the seeds are low but the dealer somehow managed to procure danko seeds and sent samples to the address provided by the London-based accused, who had introduced themselves as Laxmi Shetty and Jayanti Akbar. However, the buyer claimed that the samples were inferior in quality.”
The complainant then sent a fresh batch of seeds worth Rs2.5 lakh, and this time the buyers asked her to supply 75 packets as they were satisfied with the quality. The dealer, however, asked for payment before the delivery but the accused refused to agree and cancelled the order.
She then tired contacting the supplier, as he had assured a full refund if the deal went sour but could not get through as the supplier’s phone was switched off. The dealer then realised that something was amiss and tried to contact the buyer in London but even their phones were switched off, claimed the police.
The officer from Bandra police station said, “The woman realised that she was duped and lodged a complaint after failing to get through to both the parties.”
A case was registered at Bandra police station last week under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and the police are on the lookout for the fraudsters. Help has also been sought from the Cyber Cell department to trace the accused.
Contact cyber police if you are a victim of cybercrime
Any internet cheating or crime can be reported to Mumbai police’s Cyber wing
- 24x7 Helpline: 9820810007
- Phone: 022-26504008
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office: Cyber police station, first floor, Bandra-Kurla Complex police station, Bandra (E), Mumbai
Tips to prevent credit/debit card fraud
1. Don’t provide photocopies of both the sides of the credit card to anyone. The three-digit card verification value (CVV), which is required for online transactions, is printed on the backside of the card. Anyone can use the card to make online purchases with the help of your CVV.
2. Don’t click links in e-mails seeking your bank account or card details, these could be phishing e-mails from fraudsters. Most reputed companies will ask you to visit their website directly.
3. While using a credit card for making online payments, check if the website is secure.
4. Don’t give any information to persons seeking credit/debit card information over phone.
5. Notify your bank/credit card issuer if you do not receive monthly statement on time. If a credit/debit card is misplaced or lost, get it cancelled immediately.