Mumbai: Quest for Rs 1,100 refund leads to loss of Rs 8 lakh for septuagenarian

According to the Mahim police, the victim, a retired engineer, stays with his family in Mahim and on May 27, he took a fleet cab to his residence, which cost him around Rs 550.

Gautam S. MengleUpdated: Friday, June 03, 2022, 08:20 PM IST
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A 77-year-old Mahim resident lost Rs 8 lakh from his life savings over a quest for a refund of Rs 1,100.

According to the Mahim police, the victim, a retired engineer, stays with his family in Mahim and on May 27, he took a fleet cab to his residence, which cost him around Rs 550.

The victim tried paying the fare through an e-wallet but got a message twice saying that the transaction had failed before getting a successful payment alert the third time. He got off the cab and went home, and minutes later, he got a text message from his bank stating that Rs 550 had been deducted from his account thrice.

“The victim called up the car service number and the person at the other end assured him that he would get a refund immediately. Ostensibly as part of the refund process, the person asked the victim to install an app on his phone and grant certain permissions to the app. This app turned out to be a screen sharing app, which lets another person view your device's screen after the necessary permissions are granted,” senior police inspector Pravin Kadam, Mahim police station, said.

Kadam added that the person posing as the customer care executive then asked the victim to log in to his net banking account. When the victim did so, the person was viewing his screen and was hence able to note down his login credentials.

A short while later, the victim got a series of text messages from his bank, informing him that a total of Rs 5.99 lakh had been debited from his account in varying instalments.

The victim told his son about it, and both of them rushed to the Mahim police station. Even as they were exiting the police station after registering a complaint, the victim got another message about a further Rs 2 lakh being debited from his account.

“We have contacted the bank and asked them to stop any more transactions, as well as to reverse the ones that have already been made. We are trying to trace the accused through a technical investigation. An offence of cheating has been registered under the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections of the Information Technology Act,” PI Kadam said.

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