A 37-YEAR-OLD executive working with an Andheri-based company was allegedly duped of Rs 1.23 lakh on the pretext of opening a Public Provident Fund (PPF) account in a well-known private sector bank.
An officer at the Powai police station said the complainant, Jahnvi Nagvekar, was looking for the phone number of the private bank where she already had a savings account. Nagvekar, police said, wanted to enquire about the procedure for opening a PPF account and checked the internet using her mobile phone. She dialled the mobile number that was listed on the site.
The person who answered the call told her that it was the number of the Mahim branch of the bank.
She had asked for the number of the Agar Bazaar branch in Dadar (west). She dialled the number and asked for an executive to be sent over to set up her PPF account. The person, however, said they would not be able to send an executive but suggested opening her account online instead. He asked her to send pictures of her debit card and the Aadhaar card via WhatsApp.
The caller asked her to share the registration OTP sent on her phone and advised her not to operate her account for the next 72 hours to ensure that the procedure was complete. However, soon after the call ended,
Rs 50,000 was withdrawn from her account. She called up the number again and the person told her that he had made a technical error and, to rectify it, he would need another OTP sent on her phone. In the similar manner, the person made two more withdrawals and duped the woman of Rs 1.23 lakh, said police.
Later the person, stopped answering her calls. The woman visited the local branch of the bank, where officials confirmed that the number on which she had been communicating did not belong to any of their offices. The woman then registered an FIR at the Powai police station.
Police added that a new modus operandi has lately come to the fore where fraudsters upload their own mobile numbers on fake websites that are made to appear like bank websites.
An officer at Powai police station said, “Normally, fraudulent calls are made to dupe people. In this case, we are checking the website that the complainant used to get the number. Investigations are on.”