A 24-year-old marketing professional became the latest victim of a credit/debit card cloning scam in the city, after he found that his debit card had been used for transactions worth Rs 91,000 in South Korea – which he has never visited.
The victim, Nabeel Merchant, the business head of a digital marketing agency in Bandra, said he found out about the fraud on Monday, while he was trying to use an Axis Bank ATM in Bandra. A message flashed on the screen saying he had insufficient funds.
“I was surprised, I had been sure there was enough money in my account,” Merchant told HT on Tuesday. When Merchant got a mini statement printed, he saw six withdrawals had been made from his account, totaling a little over Rs 91,00 about a week ago. “On checking the country code, I found the six withdrawals done in South Korea on August 16 and 17. Of these, four withdrawals, worth Rs 45,700 were from August 16, and two, worth Rs 45,422 were on August 17.”
The fact that Merchant did not subscribe to SMS alerts from the bank meant he found out about all the transactions at one ago.
Merchant has informed the bank, of which he is a customer, of the fraud, and gave a written complaint to the Bandra police on Monday, who have not registered an FIR so far. A copy of the complaint is with HT.
The only saving grace for Merchant, he said, is that he does not deposit all his money in one account. “Had that been the case, all my savings would have been wiped out,” he said. The 24-year-old said he will approach the bank to get an FIR registered.
A spokesperson of Axis bank said, “We are in the process of investigating the complaint, which was brought to the bank’s notice on Tuesday. We are in talks with the customer and shall arrive at a conclusion after the investigation is complete.”
There have been a spate of cases of suspected credit/ debit card fraud across the city since 2012, in which scores of victims have lost money after their cards were cloned and fraudulently used in the city and abroad.