Mumbai: Optician gets SMS saying money is credited, but no transaction happened; loses Rs 26,000

Updated: Nov 16, 2019, 07:31 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

No elaborate online methods, no involvement of bank, yet optician conned of Rs 26,000 with merely one fraudulent text message.

Optician Bharat Shah with the fradulent message
Optician Bharat Shah with the fradulent message

An optician in Borivli lost Rs 26,000 in the blink of an eye, literally, after falling victim to a unique con recently. The police, too, are baffled by the modus operandi of the accused. After choosing sunglasses worth thousands, the accused, a couple, said they would pay online and the optician even received an SMS that the money was credited to his account. In reality, no transaction had taken place at all.

The accused also went one step ahead as he bought goods worth Rs 23,000 and 'transferred' Rs 26,000 to the optician. He then asked for Rs 3,000 to be returned in cash for transferring the extra amount 'by mistake'. He thus managed to loot victim Bharat Shah of two pairs of Rayban sunglasses and two pairs of Opium sunglasses.

A couple entered Shah's shop Vision 2020 at Blue Star Crystal building, Chamunda circle in Borivli West on November 8. The couple requested the shopkeeper to show them some branded sunglasses. After carefully going through the goods, the duo selected a few glasses of various brands worth Rs 23,000. At checkout, they opted for online payment to which Shah agreed. The couple allegedly transferred the amount on the bank details provided by Shah, who within seconds, received an SMS, supposedly, from his bank saying that Rs 26,000 had been credited to his account.

Fake
The well-dressed couple who 'bought' two  pairs of Rayban sunglasses and two of Opium and pretended to pay for them online

The couple pretended that they transferred the extra Rs 3,000 by mistake and requested Shah to refund the amount. They also told Shah that they were going on an international trip and hence had to hurry. Shah immediately returned the couple Rs 3,000 in cash.

"Two days after the incident were bank holidays. When I checked with my bank a couple of days later [November 11], I was shocked to hear from the bank that no such amount has been credited to the account and the message that I had received was a fraud one," Shah told mid-day.

Fake
The bill that Vision 2020 prepared for the transaction 

"I saw the SMS in my phone which stated that payment was credited into my bank account. I believed the message and handed them the four pairs of sunglasses they had selected," he added.

Cops begin investigation

Shah soon filed a complaint with the Borivli police. "I have submitted my complaint and provided the CCTV footage of the accused to the police so they can take necessary action against the two," Shah said. The police has accordingly "begun investigation" into the matter, an officer told mid-day.

Rs 3,000
Amount in cash that the accused took from victim

Rs 23,000
Value of the four pairs of sunglasses bought by the accused

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