Man loses 2.43L trying to book room in resort for family trip

Published on Aug 12, 2022 08:33 PM IST

The complainant, Pranav Nadkarni, a resident of New MHB Colony in Borivali, informed the police that he had finalised a resort and found out its contact number from the internet

The Borivali resident, however, did not get any message from the resort, confirming the booking of the room and became suspicious (HT File)
The Borivali resident, however, did not get any message from the resort, confirming the booking of the room and became suspicious (HT File)
ByVinay Dalvi

Mumbai: The Borivali police station has registered a case after a 34-year-old local resident alleged that some unknown frauds cheated him to the tune of 2.43 lakh when he attempted to book a room at a resort in Mahabaleshwar for a family trip.

The complainant, Pranav Nadkarni, a resident of New MHB Colony in Borivali, informed the police that he had finalised a resort and found out its contact number from the internet.

“When he called the number, the person at the other end, one Ashish Sharma, told him that he will have to pay 3,000 for a room, of which 1,000 will have to be paid in advance,” said a police officer from Borivali police station. Later, the officer said, Sharma, asked the complainant to share his credit card details and even the OTP for payment of the advance amount. Nadkarni followed the instructions and shared the details as well as the OTP and received a message that an amount of 1,000 was debited from his account.

The Borivali resident, however, did not get any message from the resort, confirming the booking of the room and became suspicious.

“Sharma then asked him to send some money to register on the mobile payments service. After Nadkarni paid 10, immediately Sharma transferred 12 to his bank account. This was done to gain confidence,” said a police officer who is investigating the case.

Sharma then asked Nadkarni to transfer 33,028 to his G-Pay account and told him that he will pay 34,028 including his 1,000 which was paid as advance booking amount, the officer said, adding that, the complainant accordingly transferred 34,028 to Sharma’s account.

This time, Sharma claimed that he had not got the amount and asked him to resend it. Nadkarni paid the amount again, but the purported frauds kept claiming that he had not received any amount and asked the complainant to send an amount of 30,256 to his friend’s G-pay account, claiming there was some glitch in his account. The complainant according sent this amount too, said a police officer.

This time again Sharma claimed that he was not getting the amount from his account and asked Nadkarni to add his bank accounts to his net-banking account. “Meanwhile, the fraudster transferred amounts of 500 twice to Nadkarni’s account to gain his confidence,” said a police officer.

Later the complainant had to attend a meeting online and therefore asked his wife, Pragati, to deal with the fraudster. “As per the fraudster’s instructions, the woman transferred 49,256 more to his bank account, but he again claimed that he had not got the money, so she again sent him 49,256. He again asked her to send 48,256 to his bank account, saying he will return all their money in one go,” said a police officer.

Later, even Nadkarni’s sister spoke to Sharma and asked him to return all the money that was transferred to his bank account and realised that something was really fishy with Sharma, as he was not returning the money.

“The family then again searched online and found out from the resort’s website that Sharma or his phone number was not connected with it, but by then they were cheated to the tune of 2.43 lakh and decided to approach us,” said a police officer.

Police officials said they are trying to trace the accused through the mobile numbers used by them and their bank accounts and withdrawal details.

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