Searching for a potential smart TV bid during Deepavali nearly cost him $ 75,000
A harmless search for the customer service number of an e-commerce provider nearly cost a woman 75,000 yen and was spared thanks to the swift intervention of the Ernakulam Rural Police.
Aluva’s housewife had Google searched for the number while researching a potential smart TV deal during Deepavali. She came across a fake number, designed to look like that of a popular e-commerce giant.
When contacted, fraudsters convinced her that there was indeed a smart TV offer and asked her to complete a form embedded in a link sent to her. She then received the seemingly genuine link from the e-commerce giant.
She was asked to provide details, including her bank account number and UPI ID, and the woman duly complied. She then received an SMS, which she was asked to send to a certain mobile number.
Once she complied, fraudsters allegedly took control of her bank account. They then made three withdrawals of 25,000 each and another account transfer of 2,000. Realizing her madness, the woman filed a complaint with the district police chief (Ernakulam Rural).
Subsequently, a special squad from the cyber police station launched an investigation. It turned out that fraudsters bought gift certificates for 50,000 on e-commerce portals and made another purchase for 25,000.
The investigative team acted quickly and froze the bank transactions made by the fraudsters. Shortly thereafter, the money was returned to the Applicant’s bank account to her relief. A racket based in northern India was found to be the source of the fraud, police said.
“Internet users must be careful not to fall into such traps. They should be more careful when looking for phone numbers online and verify the numbers before engaging with the parties, ”said District Police Chief (Ernakulam Rural) K. Karthik.
The investigative team was led by Inspector MB Latheef of the Cybercrime Police Station and included Senior Civilian Police Officer PM Thalhath and Civilian Police Officers Vikas Mani and PS Ineesh.