A 60-year-old businessman from the upscale Malabar Hill area in South Mumbai has been duped by a cyber fraudster to the tune of Rs 7 lakh. Police said the scamster fraudulently obtained the senior citizen’s credit card details, and his online banking details, and later made 54 unauthorised transactions in just 11 minutes. Most of the transactions were done to buy something online and originated in New York City. The Malabar Hill police recently registered an FIR in this regard.
The complainant, Rakesh Ranawat (name changed), who owns an investment firm, has been using a credit card of Standard Chartered Bank for a decade and has an account in the Bhulabhai Desai Road branch.
In his complaint to police, Ranawat stated that on the night of January 20 this year, when he was going to sleep, on checking his cell phone (which was probably on silent mode) he saw dozens of SMS alerts from the bank.
“He immediately called the bank’s helpline and got his card blocked so that no further unauthorised transactions took place. On enquiring with the bank executives Ranawat was informed that fraudsters carried out 54 unauthorised online transactions using his credit card’s details between 10.27pm and 10.38pm, and made overseas transactions worth R7 lakh,” said an officer from the Malabar Hill police station.
The officer further added that of the 54 transactions, two were domestic and rest were overseas. The fraudster completely exhausted the credit limit of the card.
Ranawat made an application to the bank by filling a dispute form and obtained the preliminary details of the unauthorised transactions on March 18.
Information from the bank revealed that a person managed to get the online banking log and the ID, password, transaction ID and credit card details of Ranawat, and using the same carried out unauthorized transactions.
“The transaction’s details also revealed that the person, in one of the online purchases, bought a product from a New York shopping outlet and got it delivered to a person, Satnam Pawa, at an Andheri address,” said another officer.
Police have registered a case under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code and 66C (identity theft) and 66D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) of Information Technology Act.
Police also suspect that the person managed to change some details of Ranawat registered with the bank and hence managed to swiftly carry out the fraud in just 11 minutes.
The police are awaiting more detailed information on the fraudulent transactions from the bank and are in the process of checking the Andheri address, where a parcel bought from the money was delivered. Officials are also taking technical assistance from the cyber police.