A 44-year-old Andheri resident lost Rs 7,000 to cyber fraudsters even though he did not disclose his debit card’s personal identification number (PIN) to them. Investigators from Azad Maidan police suspect the involvement of a skilled and technology-savvy gang in the fraud.
Kishan Sharma (name changed), who works in the BJP office in south Mumbai, has a savings account with a branch of a nationalised bank that is situated in the jurisdiction of the Azad Maidan police.
“A few weeks ago, Sharma had gone to Uttar Pradesh to perform his father’s shraadh rituals. There, he received a phone call. The caller identified himself as an employee of the bank’s head office. On the pretext of conducting verification, he asked for the 16-digit number embossed on the complainant’s debit card,” said a sub-inspector of the Azad Maidan police station.
According to the police, the caller also asked the complainant to provide his debit card PIN. Suspicious of the caller, Sharma refused to give any details.
“Even though the complainant did not disclose the PIN, a total of five unauthorised online transactions worth Rs 12,000 were attempted, using his debit card details, in a span of just four minutes. Of these, two transactions failed, and Rs 5,000 were not debited from the account,” said another officer, adding that the money stolen was used to make phone bill payments. Sharma got his debit card blocked and lodged a complaint with the Azad Maidan police station.
In course of the probe, the police found out that the accused already knew the bank branch the complainant had a savings account in.
“The call to the complainant was made from Mumbai, but Bihar showed up as the location. The IP addresses of the computer systems used were traced to three different cities, including Delhi,” said an officer who is part of the investigation.