Cyber Fraud: Private tutor duped of Rs 2.64 lakh during ‘verification’

Mumbai: A 37-year-old Andheri-based tutor lost over Rs 2.64 lakh after a fraudster posing as a PayTM employee duped him under the pretext of completing the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedure. The tutor, Amey Sane, 37, was asked to download a Quick Support Team Viewer application, following which he transferred Re 1 to an account, only to lose Rs 2.64 lakh in a series of 11 transactions, falling prey to phishing.

Sane, who stays with his parents at Koldongri in Andheri (East), is a private tutor, his only source of income. He kept all his earnings in a private bank's savings account for the future. On Sunday, Sane received a message from an unknown number, stating that his PayTM e-wallet account was due to expire and that he had to call or message on the given number to complete the verification procedure.

The next minute, he received a call from a man, posing as a PayTM executive, who identified himself as Mohit Gupta. The man said he had called to assist Sane with the KYC process.

While explaining the entire KYC process, Gupta told Sane that he would have to download an application, Quick Support Team Viewer, from the Play Store to complete the process, and to call back once he had done so. Falling prey to the con, Sane obliged and downloaded the application and shared a One Time Password (OTP) with Gupta to 'authenticate' the procedure. Gupta then asked him to transfer Re 1 from his PayTM linked bank account to the e-wallet.

Just as Sane was about to check his social media account, he received over 11 alerts from the bank, notifying him of transactions worth Rs 2,64,765. Since it was a Sunday, Sane immediately logged into his mobile banking application and blocked his account.

He submitted a dispute form at the bank's Vile Parle branch the next day, following which he approached the Andheri Police and lodged a complaint. The police registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act for cheating.

Explaining the modus operandi of the KYC fraud, a cyber expert said the team viewer application that the scamster asks the user to download gives the former full access to the latter's device. The fraudster asks the user to transfer a nominal amount, only to obtain their account details and password through the team viewer application, along with the available account balance.

Police have repeatedly appealed to citizens to stay cautious and never share their confidential banking details with anyone claiming to be either a bank or e-wallet executive, as they are not permitted to ask for such details.

In case you are a victim of cyber fraud:

▪︎Immediately alert the local police station or call the 24x7 Cyber Helpline-- 9820810007 set up to prevent and tackle Cyber Crime.

▪︎For bank frauds, immediately alert the concerned bank, block the card and fill a dispute form. If a fraud is reported within 24 hours of crime, it becomes the responsibility of the concerned stakeholder to recover the money.

▪︎Never share your bank details, debit/credit card number, and One Time Password (OTP).

While alerting bank, keep following documents handy --

•Bank statement of the last six months 

•A copy of SMSs received related to the alleged transactions

•Identity and address proof as shown in the bank records

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