Friday, June 2, 2023

Senior citizen loses Rs 8.3 lakh while shopping for towels online, full story

The 70-year-old woman from Mumbai was making a purchase of Rs 1,169 online, however, Rs 19,005 was debited from her account. She called the bank helpline number but later got duped for a total of Rs 8.3 lakh.

By Divya Bhati: New cases online fraud are coming to light every day from different parts of the country, with cybercriminals adopting new ways to trick people and steal money, from UPI fraud to SMS fraud. In a recent case of online fraud, a senior citizen lost Rs 8.30 lakh while shopping for towels online.

According to a recent report by PTI, a 70-year-old woman from Mira Road was ordering six towels from an e-commerce site online for Rs 1,160. However, while completing the online payment, Rs 19,005 was deducted from her account instead of Rs 1,169. To report the wrong transaction, the woman looked up the contact number and called the bank helpline number for help but was unable to contact the bank.

Soon after, she received a call from an unknown number, who claimed to be from the bank and offered her help with her recent online transaction problem. The man asked her to download an app for the refund.

The woman followed all the instructions given by the man to get help but ended up losing a sum of Rs 1 lakh from her account. Upon seeing the unauthorized transactions, the woman rushed to the police station; however, in the meantime, around Rs 8.3 lakh was further withdrawn.

“The money has gone into the account of an Uttar Pradesh resident. A case has been registered against unidentified persons. Further probe is underway,” the MBVV police’s cyber cell official added.

How scammer duped the woman
While cases of online fraud are not new, in this case of cyber fraud in particular, the scammer gained the trust of the woman by introducing themselves as a bank employee and later made her install an app which gave them access to her mobile phone.

After gaining remote access to the smartphone, the scammer obtained all the sensitive details like bank account number, OTP, and others and was able to successfully steal money directly from her bank account.

Notably, the bank helpline number she called was also not real, and after dialling the call, the scammers got her phone number. Additionally, the website from where she was ordering was also possibly fake and made her lose Rs 19,005.

This case is also an example of how cybercriminals can take advantage of unsuspecting individuals, especially seniors, who may not be familiar with the complexities of online transactions.

How to prevent online shopping fraud

  • Online shopping has become a part of our daily lives, but it is also becoming increasingly important to be aware of online fraud and how to prevent it.
  • It is essential to verify the authenticity of the website before making a purchase. One can check for the website’s SSL certificate, read reviews, and check if the website has a secure payment gateway.
  • It is advisable to avoid sharing sensitive information such as bank account details, passwords, and OTP with anyone over the phone.
  • One should always use trusted sources like bank helplines, official customer care numbers, and verified applications. You can check for a real helpline number on the bank passbook or by visiting the real bank website. Do not blindly dial any number that appears first on the Google search or other browsers.
  • Do not fall for anyone who claims to be a representative of a bank or other trusted organizations. Banks never call their customers o

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