The authorities have already warned not to trust search engines for customer service numbers of establishments or organisation. However, people unwittingly believe the search engines and end up in losses. A Naval officer recently learnt his lesson after losing Rs 96,981 lakh to a fraudster.
The 40-year-old Naval officer, a resident of Trombay had ordered a Macbook worth Rs 89,999 from an e-commerce company on May 28. However, while paying he could not pay the entire amount Rs 50,000 is the transfer limit. Without full payment, the order couldn't be processed and officer was forced to cancel the order.
Following the cancellation, the company assured that he will get refund. However until June 14, the officer did not receive any refund. The officer then started looking for the customer care number of the e-commerce company online. While searching the number through a search engine, he came across one mobile number which claimed to be of the e-commerce company.
When the officer called on the number, the front person introduced himself as a representative from the company and assured help. After learning about the officer's problem he sent him a message and asked the officer to forward the message on a number given by him.
After a while, the same person called him from a different number and asked him to open his digital wallet and asked to type @utbi. As soon as officer typed, a serious of messages started to receive, however the officer was unable to check them as the fraudster had kept him busy on the call.
Finally when the call was hang up, the officer was shocked to find the registration of an Unified Payment Interface (UPI) account from a Andhra Pradesh bank on his name. He also found the messages of deduction of amount Rs 96,981from his account in seven transactions. The fraudster also tried to withdraw another Rs 64,000 albeit unsuccessfully.
The officer then rushed to the concerned bank in Deonar branch and found that the refund of Rs 50,000 he was seeking was already received on his account on June 12. However the officer did not receive any message and ended up dialling the wrong 'customer care' number.
The bank official suggested him to lodge an FIR, following which the naval officer approached Trombay police station and registered his complaint.