A 26-year-old Navy sailor from Colaba lost Rs 5.16 lakh to cyber fraudsters after they posed as representatives of an online shopping portal and lured him into a trap. They duped him by claiming that he had won a car worth Rs 12.6 lakh due to his online purchase. After paying around Rs 1.5 lakh, the sailor searched online for their number and then became a victim of search engine listing fraud and lost Rs 3.5 lakh.
According to the police, in the third week of September, the sailor received an SMS purportedly from an online shopping portal, claiming he has won a car worth Rs 12.6 lakh over his shopping on the portal. Initially he ignored the message however, after he received multiple calls from the 'customer care' he began trusting them.
One such caller Sai Kiran posing as a customer care representative of the portal asked him whether he wanted the car or Rs 12.6 lakh in cash and then asked him to deposit Rs 3000 as a registration fees. The sailor believed him and paid the money however, this was just the beginning.
The fraudsters then made him to pay Rs 12,600 as GST charges, Rs 18,900 as TDS charges and another Rs 25,200 as PAN card activation charges. They further made him to pay Rs 37,800 as service charges. Following the payments he received an SMS that Rs 12.6 lakh have been credit in his account however, he was asked to pay Rs 49,212 as clearing charges. The sailor paid the money but did not receive anything in return.
He then searched online for the customer care number of the shopping portal. Unfortunately this time he landed in a search engine listing fraud, said an officer from Cuffe Parade police station.
This time fraudster assured him that all his money along with price money will be given to him, initially they asked for Rs 75,000. After the payment was made, he again received a message that Rs 14.86 lakh have been credited in his account however, he was again asked to pay 15% of the total amount which was around Rs 1.92 lakh. Somehow, the sailor paid the money hoping whatever he had lost so far would be covered but this time again he did not received a single Rupee.
When asked the fraudster, they claimed that, his account balance should be above Rs 1 lakh. The sailor put money in the account; the fraudsters then linked his account and removed Rs 1.36 lakh from his account. This time the sailor realised his mistake and instead of approaching anyone else he approached police this time.
Following the complaint we have registered an offence of online cheating against five unknown person and our investigation is underway, said a police officer from Cuffe Parade police station.