The craze for fancy or VIP (very important person) mobile phone numbers has proved costly for a 36-year-old graphic designer from Mira Road as cyber crooks continue to devise novel ideas every day to dupe gullible people. This time the cyber crooks have cashed upon the new fad of securing eye-catching mobile numbers.
In his statement to the police, the complainant said that despite not sharing his number, he was added to a WhatsApp group by an unknown admin last year. Several promotional messages in context to the sale of fancy mobile phone numbers were posted in the group.
The complainant recently expressed his interest in two particular numbers for which he was quoted a price of Rs.15,900 and Rs.1499. The seller asked the complainant to send his KYC documents and transfer the money into a specified digital wallet account. The complainant complied to which the seller responded by sharing the screenshot of the Unique Porting Code (UPC)-an alpha-numeric code which is given by the existing network operator to switch to another operator.
However, despite paying the complete amount and fulfilling the KYC process, the numbers weren’t activated. On contacting the customer care centre of the telecom company, the complainant learnt that both the UPC’s received by him had been cancelled. He contacted the seller who demanded another Rs. 5,000 towards Goods and Services Tax (GST) for activating the numbers.
Realising he was duped, a complaint was registered at the Mira Road police station and the cybercrime unit of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police. An offence under section 420 of the IPC has been registered against the unidentified accused. Further investigations were on.