Amid a push for digitisation, cyber criminals have been duping people on the pretext of linking their PAN or Aadhaar cards with their bank accounts. The cyber cell unit of the Crime Branch has been grappling with “15-20 calls on a daily basis” of fraudsters using ‘voice phishing’ calls to entrap people into parting with their bank account details, The Indian Express has learnt.
Many people who have registered a complaint with the cyber cell claimed that fraudsters posing as officials from prominent banks called and said their bank account would be deactivated or their PAN declared invalid if they do not link the two. The Indian Express accessed four such complaints registered with the cyber cell over the past one week, including a case registered in Gurgaon. Corroborating the new trend, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch (Cyber Cell & FICN), Bhisham Singh said, “We cannot put an estimate on the number of calls received pertaining to this trend as there are multiple complaints that several police stations across Delhi receive. But we have come across such cases. Fraudsters ask for Aadhaar card details and also end up taking PAN card numbers on the pretext of offering financial services. Later, people find that their money has been withdrawn.”
In one of the cases, registered on August 3, a woman told the Delhi Police that about Rs 40,000 was withdrawn from her mother’s account. The complainant alleged that her mother was contacted by a person posing as an SBI official, who asked for her PAN card details and account details.
The man told the complainant’s mother that her bank account would be blocked as she had not linked the two. “After she gave the details, several OTPs were sent to her phone and she was asked to fill them. Later, she received several transaction messages,” the woman wrote in her complaint.
In another case involving an 80-year-old man, a man posing as a bank official asked for his bank card details to “link his account”. The man eventually convinced him to part with his Aadhaar details as well. “I had a bank account with the Punjab National Bank branch in Pitampura. He called me three times and took down the details. I lost Rs 36,499 in four transactions,” he wrote in his complaint.
According to officers, in many cases, the victims are bombarded with jargon and offered gift vouchers and additional perks like a platinum card so they part with their details. Kislay Chaudhary, who routinely advises the Delhi Police on cyber crime-related matters, claimed that the fraudsters get in touch with database sellers and purchase the data of hundreds of people in bulk to target them. “They purchase this data in bulk and start making vishing (voice phishing) calls. They scare them into parting with their bank card details like the ATM pin, CVV and account numbers. The Delhi Police receives at least 15-20 such calls on a daily basis. The accused keep the victims confused in technicalities of linking Aadhaar cards and trick them into revealing bank account details.”
A Class X student from a Gurgaon school recently filed a complaint with the cyber cell unit, claiming that his grandfather had been duped of Rs 50,000. “I know there is a big fault of nana but still they are too old (sic). The unknown man called my nana and offered benefits. I would like you to help me,” the boy wrote in a mail to the investigators.