A 45-year-old man was cheated of more than Rs 18 lakh by an online fraudster in the city recently. The fraudster stole over Rs 1 lakh from the victim’s bank account through online transactions and took out a personal loan in his name of over Rs 16 lakh without his knowledge, police said.
Sachin Kulkarni lodged the FIR in this case at Kothrud police station.
According to police, Kulkarni was contacted on May 6 by a man claiming to be an employee of a telecom company. The man offered to upgrade Kulkarni’s SIM card for better internet connectivity, police said.
After Kulkarni agreed, the suspect sent a message to Kulkarni’s cell phone, asked him to contact the call centre of the telecom company and submit certain information to upgrade his SIM card, police said.
Once Kulkarni submitted the information, his SIM card was blocked and another SIM card in the possession of the suspect got activated, police said.
The suspect used the SIM card in his possession to transfer Rs 1,80,148 from Kulkarni’s bank account via net banking on May 8, police said.
Using Kulkarni’s personal information, the suspect then applied online for a personal loan from the bank, police said. The bank then approved a loan of Rs 16,45,352, police said.
Due to the lockdown, Kulkarni was unable to visit the telecom company outlet, but after a few days, police said. When he approached the bank, he was shocked to learn that the bank had sanctioned a loan to him, police said. The money had been transferred to different bank accounts through net banking without Kulkarni’s knowledge, police said.
After primary verification of Kulkarni’s complaint, an offence was lodged at Kothrud police station against unidentified suspects under sections 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Information Technology Act.
Police Inspector Kiran Balwadkar said, “Money was transferred from the complainant’s bank account to five other bank accounts through online transactions. Investigation is on to identify the fraudsters.”
Police have appealed to residents to be cautious and avoid speaking to unidentified persons who claim to be employees of telecom firms, who make phone calls with offers to upgrade SIM cards.
Explaining the modus operandi in such scams involving SIM swapping, police said that fraudsters manage to get personal details of the victim through various techniques. Fraudsters then call the victims in the guise of telecom company employees, then port the victim’s cell phone number on the SIM card in their possession, police said. Using this SIM card, fraudsters transfer money from the victim’s bank account without their knowledge through net banking, police said.
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