Mumbai doctor shares bank details on phone, loses Rs 17 lakh to online fraud
A 69-year-old Mahim doctor lost around Rs 17 lakh to online fraud after he shared his bank account details with a person who claimed to be an executive of a popular eWallet service provider. The fraudster, under the pretext of providing details on how to link bank accounts to the eWallet, obtained the doctor’s banking details and then misused it to commit the fraud.
The victim had linked his mobile number to his bank account, his daughter’s bank account and his US-based son’s bank account. The accused fraudulently transferred funds from two of these three accounts. The Mahim police on Sunday registered an FIR in the case and have begun a probe.
Dr Prakash Mahadev Aberdekar, a resident of LJ Road in Mahim (West), is an anaesthesiologist and consulting doctor with various hospitals.
He has a bank account in State Bank of India, Mahim branch. His daughter Prachi, an Ophthalmologist living in Kurla, and his son Pranit, an engineer living in United States, also have their accounts in the same branch. Amberdekar has his mobile number registered with all these three bank accounts.
In the FIR, Dr Amberdekar stated that on January 8, he received a phone call from a person who identified himself as an executive from a eWallet operator. The executive explained to him how to link bank accounts to the eWallet to avail benefits. Dr. Amberdekar shared his bank account details during the process after which he started receiving OTP messages.
Sensing something fishy Dr. Amberdekar immediately changed the password of his netbanking account, after which he stopped receiving OTP messages. The caller then disconnected the phone call. However, later the victim again started receiving OTP messages. He then contacted the bank’s customer care and got his netbanking account blocked, the Mahim police said.
On January 21 while Dr Amberdekar was checking the online status of a cheque deposited for clearing, he got to know that someone fraudulently transferred funds from his son’s and daughter’s bank accounts. The fraudsters transferred a total amount of Rs 16.90 lakh from the two bank accounts to some other bank accounts, the complaint says.
Dr. Amberdekar reported the matter to the bank saying those were unauthorized transactions. After this he informed the police on Saturday.
The Mahim police have registered a case under sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code and 66C (identity theft) and 66D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) of Information Technology Act against the unknown suspect.
The victim nowhere in his complaint stated that he did not share the OTP details with the fake executive of the eWallet. The police are curious and trying to figure out how exactly the crime was committed without the complainant sharing the OTP details.
“We are in process of seeking details of the fraudulent transactions and the details of the beneficiary bank accounts, from the bank,” said a police officer from Mahim police station.
Dr Amberdekar was not available for comment.