Mumbai Crime: 35-year-old woman loses Rs 85,000 while booking tables at restaurant

Updated: Nov 07, 2019, 10:58 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

She was asked to Rs 25 thorugh Google pay to skip queue as the caller told her of a 45-minute waiting period

This picture has been used for representational purposes.
This picture has been used for representational purposes.

A 35-year-old was allegedly cheated of Rs 85,000 in a series of transactions while booking a table at a restaurant on a number listed online, said police. According to a report in the Indian Express, the number did not belong to the restaurant and was said to have been added by scammers.

The woman, identified as Manjeet Madan, was making dinner reservations for her family in a restaurant in Juhu Tara Road for which she dialed the contact number listed on Google. When her call was not attended twice, she later received a call from the same number. The person posing as staff from the restaurant, who identified himself to Madan as Deepak Mishra,  asked her to pay Rs 25 to skip the queue as he told her of a 45-50 waiting period to get a table. Mishra told her to make the payment through Google Pay as they would receive a message on their contact number that would be forwarded to another number who would reply with a link for the payment to be made.

Madan’s contact number was forwarded to Mishra from the transaction, after which she received a message with a Google link that had a slot for entering the UPI pin and button to submit the payment details. Madan alleged that after she filled the payment details, she learned that instead of Rs 25, a total of Rs 85,000 was deducted from her account in a series of transactions. She then called Mishra again to seek to speak to the manager of the restaurant but he hung up. Madan then went to the restaurant when she learned that the number did not belong to them.

Madan then approached the Santacruz police where an FIR was registered against the unknown callers for cheating. According to the sources, the origin of the call was traced to West Bengal. The restaurant said that they knew about the fraudulent phone number listed with the restaurant’s contact details online. They said that they reported the contact number with Google and the local police station, but the number continued to appear with the restaurant’s contact details.

Further investigations are underway in this case. 

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Google was quoted saying that they remove the fake contact numbers when reported. Apart from the details posted by the owners of the establishment, people making changes in order to update them are seen as an effort to keep the latest information available on the search engine.

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