Mumbai: A 44-year-old man who works in a private company at Mahape recently fell prey to gift card fraud. The victim received a WhatsApp communication from a person impersonating the chief executive officer (CEO) of the complainant’s company.
The fraudster asked him to urgently send him Apple Store Codes (a voucher that holds credits which can be used to conduct purchases in the Apple App Store). The victim sent 10 codes worth Rs5,000 each and later learnt that he had been duped by an imposter.
Man Duped by Fraudster through Identity Fraud
According to the police, on October 20, when the complainant was at home, he received a WhatsApp call from an unknown number and as soon as he received the call, it immediately got disconnected. When he saw that WhatsApp displayed a picture of the said number, it was of the CEO of his company. The victim then called the said number, but his calls were disconnected and he started receiving WhatsApp messages, which he thought were being sent by the CEO.
While chatting, the imposter told the complainant that he was in a meeting, and hence couldn’t talk over the phone. The fraudster told the complainant that he wanted to distribute gift cards (gift vouchers) to people in the meeting. He then induced the complainant to buy and share with him ten Apple Stores Codes worth Rs5,000 each, with an assurance that he would return the spent money. Later, in order to confirm, the victim contacted the CEO on the number that he had and was baffled to know that he had not sought any gift cards, police said. The code holds credits which can be used to conduct purchases in the Apple App Store.
Having realised that he had been duped, the complainant visited his bank and filed a complaint related to online fraud. He then approached the police and got an offence registered last week. The police have registered a case under section 66D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act. The police sources said that it is a case of corporate impersonation wherein the scammer impersonates the top official of a company and induces an employee to buy and share gift cards.