The Cyber Crime Cell of Pune City Police has helped over 120 victims of online fraud recover about Rs 60 lakh in the last two years. A press release by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime Cell, Sudhir Hiremath stated that police took prompt action after receiving complaints about money being withdrawn from bank accounts without the consent of the account holders.
Citing an example, Hiremath said one of the victims had ended up sharing confidential details of his bank account with a fraudster, who had called him up and pretended to be a bank officer.
Soon, the man found that Rs 1.99 lakh had been withdrawn from his bank account over seven transactions through a mobile app.
The victim then approached the Cyber Crime Cell. Police immediately contacted those behind the mobile app, which provided a refund of Rs 76,701 to the victim.
In another case, a man got a call from a fraudster, who assured him that he would be given credit card reward points worth Rs 5,000. The fraudster collected confidential information about the person’s credit card and then misused it to withdraw Rs 49,000 from his bank account through online transactions.
“The transactions were conducted via several merchants. On receiving the complaint, Cyber Crime Cell officials contacted these merchants through e-mail… one of them refunded Rs 19,700 to the complainant,” stated the press release.
According to police, it is possible to help victims of online frauds get their money back if they approach the Cyber Crime Cell within a few hours of the fraudulent transaction. If the victim approaches the police later, the fraudsters, who are often based in other states, are likely to have spent the money, making recovery difficult.
As per figures obtained from the Cyber Crime Cell, police helped 66 complainants get a refund of Rs 23.57 lakh in 2016.
In 2017, 17 complainants got refunds worth Rs 6.32 lakh in January, seven complainants got refunds worth Rs 1.07 lakh in February, seven complainants got refunds worth Rs 1.07 lakh in March, nine complainants got refunds worth Rs 4.24 lakh in April, three complainants got refunds worth Rs 54,010 in May, 16 complainants got refunds worth Rs 2.35 lakh in June, nine complainants got refunds worth Rs 26.46 lakh in July, 28 complainants got refunds worth Rs 12.93 lakh in August and in September, 27 complainants got refunds worth Rs 5.22 lakh.
Police have appealed to Pune residents, who have lost money to online fraudsters, to call the Cyber Crime Cell on 020-26123346.