A 70-YEAR-OLD woman became the latest victim of the ‘vishing’ fraud where conmen pretending to be calling from banks take debit card or bank account details of unsuspecting people and make fraudulent transactions using them. In the current case, Vrushali Joglekar, a Malad resident, lost Rs 1.25 lakh in a series of unauthorised transactions made within an hour using her internet banking details. The Malad police registered an FIR Monday and are investigating the matter.
According to the police, Joglekar, who retired from a private sector job a few years ago, lives along with her 75-year-old husband Vighyan in their sixth floor home in Ankur Cooperative Housing Society at Jubilee Park in Malad, and the two survive on their pension money.
On August 20, around 4.30 pm, Joglekar was at home when she received a call from a man who claimed to be calling from the IDBI bank where the senior citizen held an account, said the police. In her complaint to the police, Joglekar said, “The person who called me claimed that my bank account had been deactivated and would need my account details to reactivate it. Not suspecting anything amiss, I gave away by bank account details.”
Joglekar soon suspected there was something wrong. She then went to the local branch of her bank to check her balance. The balance seemed much lower than what she had expected. She went to the main branch the next day and found that 18 unauthorised transactions had been carried out on her bank account. “A total of Rs 1,25,978 had been withdrawn illegally in the 18 transactions made on her account using internet banking,” said an officer from the Malad police station.
After realising that she had been duped, Joglekar and her husband approached the Malad police station, where a case was registered for cheating and under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act. An officer linked to the probe said, “We are trying to trace the number from which the call had been made. We have also sought some details from the bank using which we should be able to track down the accused.”
A senior officer said, “In a large number of vishing cases, the victims are senior citizens who are not tech savvy. There have been a spurt of such vishing cases in the northern suburbs of the city where people have lost money to such fraudsters.”