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Cyber fraudster blocks Mumbai woman’s SIM, withdraws ₹73,100 from her account

Police said such cases are on the rise, wherein the criminal changes mobile phone details in the victim’s bank records to reflect his own number.

mumbai Updated: Jun 23, 2018 13:40 IST
Faisal Tandel
Faisal Tandel
Hindustan Times
mumbai news,cyber fraud,cyber crime
The accused called her and shared a 19-digit SIM number with her.(HT Photo/Representational Image )

A 33-year-old woman from Tilak Nagar was duped of Rs73,100 by a cyber-criminal, who withdrew money from her account by blocking her SIM card.

The complainant, Rachita S Banote, 33, told police that on April 1, she received a call from the fraudster, who posed as an executive of a mobile network service provider. He asked her to upgrade her SIM.

When she told him that she had already upgraded it and also linked her Aadhaar card, the accused told her that the company had changed the version, and if she did not get upgrade it, the SIM would be blocked.

In order to prevent her number from being blocked, the man shared a 19-digit SIM number and asked Banote to message it to 121. He said that her number would be switched off for at least 24 hours for the process to upgrade.

“When the phone didn’t turn on after 24 hours, she approached the service provider. However, they claimed that it was a fake call and she should crosscheck it,” said Sagar Kalekar, sub-inspector, Tilak Nagar police station.

Kalekar said that on April 3, she tried logging into her bank account to check the transactions, but she could not.

“On April 4, she approached the bank for help and saw that there were two separate transactions of Rs25,000 and Rs23,100. The accused used the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to withdraw money from her account,” said Kalekar.

The bank was investigating the matter for almost 45 days, for which the police had to put the case on hold. The bank said that it cannot help the woman or refund the amount.

“We had registered a case on June 14 under section 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 66 (c) and 66 (d) of the Information Technology Act. Further investigation is on,” said SD Kale, police inspector, Tilak Nagar police station.

The police claim that such cases have increased in recent times, where the fraudster changes the mobile phone details in bank records to reflect his own contact number. He then uses the UPI service to withdraw money, which is quite new.

First Published: Jun 23, 2018 13:40 IST