A retired professor from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, on Saturday lodged a police complaint that his bank account, email and phone details linked to the bank were likely hacked. For over the past four days, fraudsters did 22 transactions to dupe him to the tune of Rs19 lakh. Shockingly, he didn’t even get alerts on his email and phone that he usually gets after transactions.
Sanjay Dhande (65) of Panchawati in Aundh lodged a complaint with Chatuhshrungi police station against unidentified persons. The police have registered the case under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code, 1860, comprising cheating, forgery and an act done by them with common intention.
Inspector (crime) Subhash Nikam, who along with cyber cell is investigating the case, said, “Dhande was shocked when he received a call on Monday from ICICI Bank asking him to deposit money as his account balance had gone below the minimum amount of Rs10,000. He informed the bank that he had Rs19 lakh, his entire life savings, in that account. He rushed to the bank and found that there were 22 illegal transactions that took place online between September 6 and September 8. Dhande claimed that usually he gets an SMS alert for any account transaction, but in these four days he did not get any. We suspect that his mobile handset was hacked too.”
According to the police, the victim’s bank account mini-statement reflects 22 illegal transactions, including four online money transfers to different accounts and 18 online shopping transactions.
Cyber crime cell inspector incharge Sanjay Tungar, who is investigating the case, said, “As Dhande did not receive an SMS alert, we suspect that the fraudsters must have gained a duplicate SIM card of same number and blocked the original to hide SMS alerts of bank account transactions. Bank sends a beneficiary code password number on mobile for every financial transaction but in this case Dhande did not get the code as his SIM card was blocked, which means culprits must have procured Dhande’s number by either getting a new one or hacking the original. The culprits gained access to these codes and transferred money.”
Asked on how people can keep a check on such frauds, Tungar said, “Citizens should contact the bank if they do not get SMS alerts on a daily basis. Even when the SIM card is blocked or missing inform the bank as nowadays the bank helpline is available 24x7. “