In another addition to the long list of people duped in online frauds in recent times, former IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay Govind Dhande was cheated of Rs19 lakh after his bank account, email and SIM card were compromised.
Dhande, 65, is a member of the National Security Advisory Board and a Padma Shri awardee for his contribution to the field of science and technology.
In the first information report (FIR) lodged at Chaturshrungi police station, Dhande has said that unidentified fraudsters made 22 transactions from his ICICI bank account over three days — on September 7, 8 and 9 — duping him of Rs19 lakh.
Dhande, who resides at Aundh in Pune, said he did not get alerts on his email or mobile phone like he usually does when a transaction is made. “Both my SIM and email account have been hacked. As a result, I did not get any alerts and my incoming calls were also blocked,” Dhande told HT over the phone.
The fraud came to light when bank executives called Dhande requesting him to deposit money after his account balance went below the required Rs10,000. “The transactions were done on holidays and I had not even visited the ATM. I had no clue of the fraud until the bank contacted me,” he said.
Cyber cell officials said Dhande’s account statement reflected 22 transactions — 12 money transfers and 10 online shopping transactions — between September 7 and 9. “We have got some leads in the case. The case will be cracked soon,” said assistant police inspector (cyber crime cell) Sanjay Tungar, adding that the cash transfers were made to accounts within India.