Two weeks after a 72-year-old ex-US consulate employee and Napean Sea Road resident, Anita Garware, lost Rs11.5 lakh to SIM card cloning, cybercriminals cheated her neighbour, Radhika Kazi, 52, of Rs3.09 lakh using a similar modus operandi.
According to the police, the fraudsters bought goods worth Rs3 lakh using her American Express credit card, which she shares with her husband, and Rs9,000 using their Indus Bank account. “Both the victims got constant blank calls for two days,” said a police officer.
Tired of the blank calls, Kazi filed a complaint with the service provider, Vodafone. “The same evening, she got a call from the fraudsters, who posed as Vodafone officers. They inquired about the complaint regarding blank calls and asked her to insert her SIM card in an android phone and forward the calls and messages from the unknown number to his number,” said the officer.
The accused then transferred details of Kazi’s SIM card to his card and got the credit card details from bank officials. “They asked Kazi to transfer the calls as they would have needed the one-time password for shopping. Once they got the password, they bought items worth Rs3.09 lakh,” said the officer.
The police have written to the bank officials, seeking information on the purchase. “The complainant hasn’t got the bill, so we don’t know the exact dates. We have learnt the shopping was done between May 27 and June 9. The incident came to light after the bank officials informed the victim that someone had tried to change the contact details of her credit card and asked Kazi to confirm,” the officer said.
The complainant then approached the police and a case was registered under sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code along with sections 66 (C) and (D) under Information Technology Act.