A retired deputy registrar of the Bombay High Court lost Rs 60,000 to cyber fraud earlier this month, after receiving a message from a friend whose email account had been hacked. According to the police, the complainant, Jayant Gangakhedkar (65), received an email purportedly from his friend, advocate Kiran Bapat, on June 6, seeking immediate financial assistance. An officer said the email mentioned that Bapat was travelling in a flight and was unable to access his bank account to transfer money to a friend, whose daughter needed an urgent surgery.
The email allegedly requested Gangkhedkar to make a payment of Rs 60,000 on Bapat’s behalf. An hour later, Gangkhedkar was sent another email from Bapat’s account, with instructions to transfer the money to a State Bank of India account of one Adarsh Sahu in Hyderabad.
Gangkhedkar was in for a shock when he called Bapat to confirm if Sahu had received the payment, the police said. “Bapat told his friend that his email account had been hacked and that the email requesting money sent to all his contacts. He had received calls from nearly 300 people all day, inquiring whether he had received the money according to the instructions in the email,” said an officer at Borivali police station.
Bapat later registered a complaint at the MRA Marg police station.
Gunaji Sawant, senior inspector, Borivali police station, said a case of cheating had been registered by the police upon Gangakhedkar’s complaint on June 13.