Cybercriminals shut down the SIM card of a 57-year-old businessman to transfer Rs 5.37 lakh out of two of his accounts without alerting him. The businessman, however, managed to get the suspects’ accounts frozen before they could withdraw the entire sum from ATMs. The suspects had taken Rs 26,000 by then.
The suspects, the police said, got businessman Shailesh Parekh’s (name changed) SIM card blocked by the service provider and got a duplicate SIM. This means, when they transferred the money out of Parekh’s account, the one-time password (OTP) was sent to them instead, while Parekh did not get an alert at all.
Parekh, who lives in Parel, has a garment business in Solapur. He has bank accounts in a nationalised bank, including one each at Solapur and Mumbai.
“Around 6pm on May 25, Parekh’s cellular service got disconnected. Luckily, Parekh was checking his bank balance online, which is when he found out that Rs 5.37 lakh had been withdrawn from two of his accounts,” said MD Dhoke, sub-inspector at the Azad Maidan police station.
“When my father told me about this, I called up the customer care of the service provider. They told me my father’s service was active and had not been disconnected,” Parekh’s son told Hindustan Times.
Parekh’s son said they spoke to the bank and the service provider to find that his father’s SIM card had been blocked and a duplicate one had been issued. “The fraudsters used the SIM to transfer the money online to the Gwalior branch of the same nationalised bank,” the son said.
The bank was able to freeze the Gwalior account, but only after the suspect took Rs 26,000.
As the suspect had details of Parekh’s accounts in Mumbai and Solapur, the police are trying to find out if a person known to him was involved.
“We are getting the details of the transactions. We will also check the CCTV footage of the ATM kiosk from where the money was withdrawn,” Dhoke said.
The Solapur police have registered a separate complaint.