A security guard employed with the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) utility lost Rs 40,000 to a bank fraud on Wednesday after unwittingly providing One Time Passwords (OTPs) to a caller, who posed as a bank representative, 18 times. The complainant, Netaji Nanote (56), who lives in Saki Nakas’s BEST Colony, had written an application to his bank branch a week ago after his SMS alert service stopped abruptly, the police said. At 11 am on Wednesday, Nanote received a call from a man who claimed that he worked for the bank. The police said the man had called to address Nanote’s complaint.
“The caller asked for Nanote’s debit card number and the three-digit security code. The complainant shared the details assuming that the caller was indeed calling from the bank,” said sub-inspector Prashant Hule of Saki Naka police station. The police added that the caller then asked
The police added that the caller then asked Nanote to inform him about an OTP that he would shortly receive on his cell phone. “The complainant does not understand phone banking very well and he assumed that OTP was part of the procedure to restart the SMS alert,” said Hule.
The caller allegedly made 18 online transactions using Nanote’s debit card, calling him each time to ask him for the OTP. “After receiving so many calls, Nanote became irritated. By the end of the 18th call, he became suspicious and told the caller that he would visit the bank branch to fix his complaint,” Hule said. The police said when Nanote visited the bank, he was informed that no such call had been made from there and that he had been duped.
Nanote then registered a complaint with the police.
Avinash Dharmadhikari, senior inspector, Saki naka police station, said a case of cheating under the Indian Penal Code and identity theft under the Information Technology Act has been registered. The police are tracking the number from which the calls had been made and the IP address of the computer using which the caller made the transactions.
“We are also investigating if any bank employee is involved as the call was made soon after the complainant visited the bank last week,” added Hule.