Ludhiana: Former agriculture official duped of 8 lakh in online fraud

Published on Sep 17, 2022 03:46 AM IST

Fraudsters posing as officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) duped a former agriculture official of ₹8 lakh in Ludhiana. The accused sent a text message to the victim about the non-payment of the electricity bill

Former agriculture official Harmel Singh said on September 13, he received a text message stating that his electricity bill for the last month was due. Fraudsters posing as officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) duped him of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>8 lakh in Ludhiana. (HT Photo/ Representational image)
Former agriculture official Harmel Singh said on September 13, he received a text message stating that his electricity bill for the last month was due. Fraudsters posing as officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) duped him of 8 lakh in Ludhiana. (HT Photo/ Representational image)
By, Ludhiana

Fraudsters posing as officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) stole 8 lakh in cash from the account of an elderly person. The accused sent a text message to the victim about the non-payment of the electricity bill. When contacted on a given number, the accused made the man download an application on his mobile phone. Using the application, the accused took out cash from his account. The Dugri police lodged an FIR against the accused on Friday.

Harmel Singh, who retired from the agriculture department, said that on September 13, he received a text message stating that his electricity bill for the last month was due. If he did not pay the bill immediately, the power supply to the house would be snapped by night.

The text message also contained a mobile phone number. When he made a call, the fraudsters posing as PSPCL officials asked him to download ‘Any Desk’ mobile application. The accused stated that he can update the status of the electricity bill on the application.

Harmel Singh added that after downloading the application, the accused also made him share the one-time password (OTP) on the application. Minutes after he shared the OTP, the fraudsters transferred 8,01,977 from his account in 10 different transactions.

The victim, thereafter, lodged a complaint with the police and the inquiry was marked to the Cyber Cell-II of the Ludhiana police commissionerate.

Inspector Jatinder Singh, in-charge, cyber cell-II, said that after investigating the matter an FIR under Sections 420 (cheating) of the IPC and 66-D of the Information and Technology Act has been lodged against unidentified accused. The cyber cell is further getting details of the bank accounts in which the money has been transferred by the cyber fraudsters.

He added that the police have already initiated a drive to make the people aware about online frauds. They are visiting elderly people and making them aware about online fraud. They have been asked not to share their bank details, OTP, with anyone.

The PSPCL officials said that they would never send any text or email to snap the power connection. An official of the PSPCL would visit the house for this if a power connection has to be disconnected.

City-based doctor loses 77,000 to fraudsters

An ENT doctor lost 77,000 to online fraudsters on the pretext of updating “Know Your Customer” (KYC) of his SBI credit card. The PAU police on Friday lodged an FIR against three accused.

The FIR has been lodged on the complaint of Dr Arun Mitra of Kitchlu Nagar.

Dr Mitra stated that on May 6, he received a call. The caller asked him to update the KYC of his credit card. As asked by the caller, he shared details of his credit card and immediately after that two transactions were made from the credit card of 51,566 and 25,684. The caller disconnected the call and switched the number off. Thereafter, he lodged a complaint with the police.

Sub-inspector Lakhwinder Singh, who is investigating the case, said that an inquiry was marked to the cyber cell of Ludhiana police after which a case has been registered against three accused identified as Raja, Abdul Wajid Seikh of West Bengal and Hansbeen Manjibai of Surat, Gujarat, under Sections 420 (cheating) of IPC and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

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