Timely complaints by cyber fraud victims and swift action taken by Manpada police station in Dombivali helped retrieve Rs 1.6 lakh lost in cyber crime. The victim, Dipak Khutal, 32, received the money in his account on Thursday.
According to the police, Khutal, a resident of Dombivali, was scheduled to fly to Bengaluru on May 17. However, due to the lockdown restrictions, his flight was cancelled at the last moment. He waited for a refund, but did not receive anything till June. It was then that he went online in search of a customer care number of the airline.
"I found one number online. The person, posing as a customer care representative of the airline, asked me to start net banking and later told me to download AnyDesk application. As soon as I shared the ID, I lost control of my phone. I managed to access the phone only after switching it off by removing the battery,” said Khutal, an HR executive.
As soon as he learned about the fraud, he immediately blocked his account and rushed to the police station. The officer at Manpada police station wasted no time and contacted his bank, which said Rs 1 lakh had been transferred to another bank account and Rs 1.6 lakh had been transferred to the shopping cart of an e-commerce portal. They contacted the nodal officers of the bank and the e-commerce portal and asked them to freeze the accounts.
Both the accounts had been frozen on the instructions of the police. Before the bank account could be frozen, the fraudster withdrew Rs 1 lakh. However, he could not use Rs 1.6 lakh transferred in the cart. "I was relieved on Thursday when I finally received Rs 1.6 lakh in my bank account, " said Khutal.
If a victim approaches the police within the first two hours of the fraud, which is called golden hours, there is always a chance to freeze the accounts, stop further transactions and recovery as well, said DK Choure, senior inspector of Manpada police station.