Cyber frauds use AI-based audio cloning technique to dupe 68-year-old | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Cyber frauds use AI-based audio cloning technique to dupe 68-year-old

ByManish K Pathak
Apr 12, 2024 06:30 AM IST

68-year-old Powai resident falls victim to AI-based cyber fraud, losing ₹80,000 to a scammer posing as Indian Embassy staff in UAE helping his son in legal trouble.

MUMBAI: A 68-year-old Powai resident is the latest victim of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based Cyber fraud. Police officials said that the fraud posed as an officer from the Indian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates(UAE) and extracted an amount of 80,000 from the businessman under the guise of helping his Dubai-based son, who he claimed was in legal trouble.

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According to the police, Vinod Kumar Kachhara, 68, lives with his 65-year-old wife in Chandivali, Powai, and his son Amit Kachhara, 43, works in Dubai. Amit is involved in the business of importing Teakwood shoes and has an office in Kanjurmarg where he oversees a team of five employees.

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The complainant reported to the police that while he was in his office, he received a WhatsApp call from an unfamiliar mobile number. The caller identified himself as Anand Kumar, a staff member at the Indian Embassy in the UAE, informing him of his son’s purported arrest in a case. Upon requesting to speak to his son, the caller facilitated a brief conversation. Hearing his ‘son’ in distress, the businessman was immediately thrown into a state of panic, said a police officer.

The caller then demanded 80,000 to get his son released, stating otherwise he would remain behind bars for the rest of his life and provided a G-Pay number to the senior citizen – to enable him to send the money through an online transaction.

As the complainant did not have a G-Pay account, he requested one of his employees, Harish Prajapati, to transfer the money to the number. “Prajapati, accordingly, transferred the amount in two transactions – first of 55,000 and subsequently of 25,000 through his G-Pay account to Kumar. He continued to talk to the complainant while the transactions took place and hung up the phone immediately after the money was transmitted to him,” said the police official.

Soon thereafter, the complainant tried calling his son on his mobile number and got through around 1.15pm and found out that his son was at his Dubai residence. It was then that the 68-year-old businessman realised that he was duped.

The complainant then approached the Kanjurmarg police station and based on his complaint an FIR was registered on Wednesday. The police have booked the unknown fraud under sections 384 (extortion), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code along with sections 66(C) and 66(D) of the Information Technology Act.

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