A 60-year-old doctor employed with the KEM hospital was allegedly duped of Rs 1.27 lakh by a courier firm while trying to ship hand sanitisers, hand gloves, face masks, and medicines to his son in the USA amid the coronavirus pandemic, Malabar Hill police said. A case on charges of cheating and cheating by impersonation was registered on May 20, police added. According to police, the complainant, a resident of Napean Sea Road in south Mumbai, had contacted a courier firm earlier this month for sending masks, hand sanitisers, hand gloves, and medicines to his son who works in the USA. As he had received some messages on WhatsApp questioning the credibility of the company, the complainant had looked up its customer care number on Google.
“I contacted the company’s officials on the number on May 8 and told them that I want to courier certain things to my son in the USA,” he said, in his statement to police.
The customer care executive reportedly told him that he had to make an advance payment for the shipment, following which company officials would collect the goods from him.
An officer from Malabar Hill police station said that the imposters reportedly called the doctor from a different number and asked him to transfer Rs 48,101 through Google Pay, a digital wallet platform, as an advance. “At first he refused to make any advance payment, but later the doctor transferred Rs 48,101 to a number provided to him,” the official said. However, the courier company officials contacted him again and asked him to deposit another Rs 29,101 as “there was some problem in depositing the amount” initially. The complainant said around 3pm on May 9 another Rs 49,996 was withdrawn from his account in nine separate transaction. After a preliminary inquiry, a case was registered on May 20.
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