Former IIT Kanpur director conned by cyber criminals

Member of Scientific Advisory Council to the prime minister and former director of IIT Kanpur Prof Sanjay Govind Dhande (65), a resident of Panchavati in Aundh, was duped to the tune of Rs 19 lakh by unidentified cyber criminals, who hacked into his mobile phone and bank account.

Prof Sanjay Govind Dhande
Prof Sanjay Govind Dhande

The incident, which happened a few days ago, came to light after Dhande was informed by ICICI Bank’s Aundh Road branch of about his account balance dipping below minimum. After this ‘alert call’ Dhande approached the bank and police authorities on Saturday and lodged an FIR against unknown persons under relevant sections of Information Technology Act and Indian Penal Code.

According to Chatuhshrungi police, unidentified criminals had hacked the server of ICICI Bank’s Aundh Road branch and withdrawn Rs 19 lakh from Dhande’s account. The miscreants had also taken the precaution of blocking Dhande’s SIM card to stop him from receiving bank transaction alerts on his cellphone. Several withdrawals were made by the offenders on 6th, 7th and 9th of September.

When asked about the incident, Dhande said, “My incoming calls had got blocked initially and I could only make emergency calls from my mobile. The SIM card had become completely dysfunctional.” “I have registered a complaint with the bank as well as Chatuhshrungi police against unknown persons. The bank also has an independent investigation cell, which will locate the culprits,” he added.

Speaking to MiD DAY, senior inspector Dr Sanjay Tungar from Cyber Crime Cell of Pune police said, “We are investigating the case keeping all possible options in mind. Although we can’t reveal the details we have thought of eight to ten ways of cracking the case.”

Cyber security expert Sagar Rahurkar said, “According to RBI guidelines if the customer has taken adequate measures for secure transactions and the bank delays or fails in its investigations then the customer is entitled to recovery of his lost amount. The customer can also appeal to the adjudicating officer against the bank.”

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