An Ahmedabad-based person lost over Rs 74,000 allegedly after he contacted an “animal helpline”, requesting them to pick up a dead dog outside his house, and shared his bank details to pay their “service charge” that was used for fraud.
A case was lodged at the cyber crime police station on Thursday, against one accused who identified himself as ‘Deepak Sharma’ to the victim. He was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 406 and 420 for criminal breach of trust and fraud along with relevant sections of the IT Act.
According to police, the victim Dishank Gandhi, 23, is a resident of Paldi in Ahmedabad, and runs tuition classes for a living.
“On December 30, 2019, I was about to reach my flat in Paldi when I saw a dead dog lying on the street outside my society. One of my neighbours, Manav Shah, called the municipality number but it was not available. He then did a Google search and found an ‘Animal Helpline’ number on which he called. The operator on the other end, informed him that if he wants the animal care team to reach his society and pick up the carcass, he must do an online payment of Rs 10 as registration fee,” said Gandhi in his complaint.
“Since Manav had no online banking or digital wallet system, he asked me to do the payment. The operator on the other end, who identified himself as Deepak Sharma, took my number and told me that a text message has been sent. When I received the text message, it contained a web link, which opened a Google document called ‘Animal Paylink’, where bank details had to be entered. Sharma asked me to fill these details and submit it so I filled in my debit card details, including my PIN number, unknowingly. Soon, after, there were four transactions from my account amounting to Rs 73,999,” he added in his complaint. Cyber crime police said a probe has been launched into the case and made an appeal to the citizens to not share any bank details online, without proper verification.