If someone calls you claiming to be from an e-commerce website you've been using for shopping and states that the company is offering free gifts on purchase, then please be alert. The police have come across a new modus operandi wherein fraudsters had procured information about an e-commerce website user, gained the trust of the victim and duped her through phishing fraud. A Chembur-based doctor recently lost Rs 1.70 lakh to this fraud.
According to the police, the complainant runs an eye clinic at Chembur. The victim in her complaint stated that she had received a phone call from an unknown number. The caller, who identified herself as Payal Singh, claimed to be calling from an e-commerce website (which was used by the victim for online shopping). The caller gave the victim information about the earlier orders she had placed on the said website, after which the victim believed that the caller was a genuine person.
"Singh told the victim that on the shopping of products worth Rs 5,000, the company is giving surprise gifts to its customers. The victim then made purchases of products worth Rs 6,790 from the website after which she received a phone call from a person who identified himself as Akhilesh Sharma, claiming to be from the dispatch team of the company. Sharma informed the victim that she had won a gift of iPhone 11 and for that, she would have to pay a GST of Rs 9,772," said an officer from Chembur police station.
He added, "Sharma told the victim that the GST amount would be refunded back to her soon and told her that she would get a few Promo Codes on her phone which she has to use while doing the transaction through her e-payment gateway. Sharma also told her that she would receive a few OTPs which she has to use while doing transactions. After following instructions of Sharma, and by keying multiple OTPs sent by him, the victim ended up losing Rs 1.70 lakh from her bank account."
Having realised that she is being duped, the victim demanded her money back, after which Sharma disconnected the call. The victim on June 19, lodged a complaint in the matter under sections 419 (Punishment for cheating by personation) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 66C (punishment for identity theft) and 66D (punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resource) and 84b (Punishment for abetment of offences) of the Information Technology Act.