Mumbai Crime: Fraudsters loot Rs 90k from man in hospital for son's cancer treatment

Updated: Dec 26, 2019, 07:48 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

35-year-old father, waiting for chemotherapy cycle to end, receives persistent calls to update his KYC to avoid blocking of Paytm account, told to download an app called 'Quick Support'

Sanket Sharma with his son, Aaweg
Sanket Sharma with his son, Aaweg

A 35-year-old man, in Mumbai for his son's cancer treatment, lost over R90,000 to online fraud on Tuesday while waiting for a chemotherapy cycle to get over. Sanket Kumar Sharma received texts and repeated calls from fraudsters telling him that his Paytm account has been blocked due to incomplete KYC information. A flustered Sharma ended up sharing vital information and losing his money.

Residents of Lucknow, Sharma and his wife Suman had rushed their son Aaweg to Mumbai in October 2018 after the 11-year-old was diagnosed with blood cancer. Since then, Sharma and Aaweg have been living in a Parel dharamshala. "I was at the dharamshala on Tuesday when I received a text message saying KYC details should be updated to keep my Paytm account active. I had to leave for the chemotherapy cycle soon so I ignored the message, got ready and left for the hospital," said Sharma.

However, he kept getting calls from an unknown number while he waited at the hospital. Irritated, he called on the number to enquire what the matter was. "As I had a few minutes free, I agreed to get my KYC updated. The person on the other side told me to download an app called 'Quick Support'. That's when everything started," he said.

The fraudster first asked for some amount to be transferred from the bank account to the Paytm wallet — Sharma transferred Rs 100. But the person did not receive a message and asked for another transfer from another account, for which Sharma transferred R1. The fraudster asked for the maximum amount Sharma wished to keep in his Paytm wallet, to which Sharma said R10,000. The conversation ended and Rs 20,000 were transferred from Sharma's bank account to his Paytm wallet. Then he got alerts about deductions of Rs 25,095 and Rs 1,400 from his bank accounts.

"Within no time, I lost Rs 90,480. I didn't even understand how it happened. I took my son back to the dharamshala and rushed to Bhoiwada police station and registered a complaint," Sharma said. "I have lost precious money. I don't know how I will pay for daily expenses and the treatment." Bhoiwada police have registered a case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act 2000.

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