Mumbai Crime: KYC frauds on the rise, cyber police caution users

Priyanka NavalkarUpdated: Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 10:40 PM IST
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Mumbai: In two separate incidents of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) frauds at Oshiwara and Powai, senior citizens were duped of lakhs of rupees. With a countrywide lockdown in place to contain the spread of coronavirus, now that most citizens do not step out of the house, cyberfraudsters have started 'calling' home under the pretext of updating debit/credit card information and snaring victims. As the number of such KYC frauds are increasing, the Maharashtra Cyber Cell has issued an advisory. 

Since citizens have been making e-payments during the lockdown, using net banking or e-wallets to pay for essentials, KYC frauds are proliferating. 

In the first incident, a 75-year-old retired man, Ramesh Bhatia, a resident of Powai, received a call from a man posing as the representative of an e-wallet company, PayTM. He sought the senior's details on the pretext of updating the KYC on his account, telling the senior his account would be suspended otherwise. Bhatia was alarmed by the prospect of his account being suspended and provided details of his Bank of Baroda account, by mentioning the account number and the debit card details on a form sent by the impostors and ended up losing Rs 1.80 lakh in the next couple of minutes. 

Another 70-year-old Oshiwara-based man lost Rs 1.55 lakh to a similar con, also orchestrated on the same pretext. A police officer said, in both cases fraudsters used the same modus operandi - calling the user and tricking them into sharing their confidential information, following which the victim received a link. Once the user opens the link and enters their One-Time Password (OTP), a huge amount of money is siphoned off within minutes, which is what happened to the Oshiwara resident.

"This type of cybercrime has been trending since the past year and has grown apace, what with the lockdown in place and citizens depending on online payments. We have drawn a list of such numbers and are constantly scrutinising activities," said a senior cyber police officer, requesting confidentiality. 

Maharashtra Cyber Cell advisory

Never share any information with anyone claiming to be from PayTM or any other e-wallet company.

Never install apps like Anydesk, Teamviewer, Quicksupport etc until you know about them. These apps can give the fraudster access to your phones.

Never click on suspicious links and delete such messages immediately.

Paytm Full KYC can only be completed by a face-to-face meeting with an agent at an authorised PayTM KYC point. In case of doubt, reach out to Paytm customer support from the PayTM App on your phone.

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