As lockdown eases, spike in cases of cyber fraud | #cyberfraud | #criminal | #cybersecurity | #informationsecurity

Lakhs of rupees stolen in three separate cases in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai last week

Cyber criminals are targeting people once again now that the lockdown has eased and businesses have begun to restart.

In three separate cases last week, three people – a businessman from the APMC market, the wife of a senior government bank official, and the wife of a chef – lost lakhs of rupees to fraudsters.

On Friday, AL Shinde, 38, a vegetable trader at the APMC and resident of Kopar Khairane in Navi Mumbai, lodged a police complaint stating that he had received text messages regarding withdrawals from various ATMs.

“Shinde told the police that he had his debit card in his possession and he had not made those withdrawals,” a police official said. “It appears that Shinde’s card got cloned and was used to make withdrawals 13 times from different ATMs. Shinde has suffered loss of Rs 2.75 lakh. We are trying to trace the culprit involved.”

In another incident in Panvel, Navi Mumbai, the wife of a bank official fell victim to a cyber fraud that caused her husband loss of Rs 85,000.

According to the Panvel police, the official, in his complaint on Friday, said he had received a call from the bank in which he has an account, informing him about three suspicious transactions made using his card.

“Since the victim keeps his card with his wife, he called her and enquired. His wife informed him that she had received a call from a bank executive offering her reward points on the card. The executive induced the victim’s wife to provide her card details, which he later misused to make online transactions,” said a police officer.

In the third case, a 44-year-old woman from Borivali lost Rs 10.30 lakh. On Thursday, the victim, who is married to a chef, lodged a complaint with the MHB Colony police claiming that she had recently made friendship with one ‘Frank Ben’ on Facebook.

The two exchanged numbers and soon began interacting frequently, the police said.

According to the victim, Ben, who claimed to be living in the UK, told the victim that he is sending a surprise gift for her and sought her residential address.

“In a span of one month, Ben and his associate, ‘Pooja Sharma’, who claimed to be working in Delhi airport customs department, induced the victim to deposit Rs 10.30 lakh in different accounts on the pretext of claiming the gift.

“Later, when the duo switched off their phones, the victim realised that she had been duped,” said an officer from MHB station.

The police have registered cases under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act in all three incidents.


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