Prabhadevi accountant loses Rs 42K to fraudster for contactless debit card activation

A 50-year-old accountant lost Rs 42,500 after an imposter called her and sought debit card details on the pretext of activating it contactless during the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. A complaint has been lodged against the cyber fraudster and he has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.

The clerical accountant at a transport company is a Prabhadevi resident and is an account holder of a nationalised bank since a decade. On September 4, the woman received a call from an unknown number, who identified himself as Abhinandan Tiwari, a high-ranking officer from the nationalised bank. Tiwari told the woman that he was calling regarding the activation of her debit card.

"Tiwari told me that in the light of recent merger of 11 banks into one single entity, the current debit-cum-ATM card stands deactivated for any transactions. Since all my savings were kept in this account and I used the ATM card for online purchases, I panicked and asked him to activate it," read the complaint lodged at Pydhonie police station. Later on the same day, around noon, the woman received a message from Tiwari which stated that she needs to contact the number mentioned to activate the debit card.

After she called the number, Tiwari sought the bank and card details to activate it, to which the complainant obliged. "I received an OTP from the bank and Tiwari asked me to share it to initiate the activation. Soon after the sharing, Tiwari disconnected the call. When I checked my phone, the bank had sent me a message of a transaction worth ₹42,500, after which I realised that I have been cheated," said the accountant in her complaint.

The woman immediately approached Pydhonie Police and lodged a complaint against Tiwari for duping her on the pretext of activating the debit card. While police are investigating the case and have sought the Call Data Records, no arrests have been made yet.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal