December 14, 2016 1:31:20 am
At least six cases of online banking frauds were reported from Surat in three days, causing losses of nearly Rs 6.85 lakh to individuals.
The first such case was reported on December 3 when Suresh Chhagan Jodhani, a resident of Varachha and a real estate broker, received a call from a courier company in which the caller had demanded his identity proof copy on WhatsApp. Jodhani said in his police complaint that after taking his identity proof, the accused submitted the application of change of mobile number to the Andhra Bank and conducted online transactions from his account to the tune of Rs 3.42 lakh between December 3 and 5. Jodhani lodged a complaint on Tuesday at Salabatpura police station against the unknown caller.
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In another complaint also lodged on Tuesday, Prabhakar Lochan, a native of Odisha who lives in Harinagar area in Udhna got a call on his mobile phone on December 4. The caller identified himself as an employee of UCO bank, Ring road, Surat, and told him that his debit card is out of service and to activate it, he would have to disclose his pin. Lochan, who is a contractor for a textile unit, gave away the pin and the accused transferred Rs 84,516, from Prabhakar’s bank account to other bank accounts.
Another unidentified person, posing as a caller on behalf of UCO bank, Chowk bazaar branch, spoke to Simran Shaikh, wife of Kasim Shaikh, a trader at Chowk Bazaar, who was using his debit card, on December 5. He told her her that Kasim’s debit card had been blocked due to some reason and to get it activated, she had to give him the pin number. Simran gave it away and the anonymous caller transferred cash Rs 86,000 from the account of Kasim to other accounts online.
Similarly, Chunilal Undhad, a resident of Sachin, textile businessman Rashmikant Tanwala, a resident of Udhna, and Jitu Patel of Mandarwaja area, who works in a private firm, received anonymous call from a bank, during the time period between December 3 to December 10. The caller had done online transactions of cash from their accounts and cheated them. Chunilal, who runs a general store had lost Rs Rs. 92,000, while Rashmikant had lost Rs 49,899 and Jitu Patel had lost Rs 24,651 from their bank accounts.
Assistant commissioner of police Neeta Desai said, “After demonetisation, such online cheating complaints are on the rise and we are investigating into these cases. At present, we have registered six offences of such cheating.”
A police inspector of Surat city, on condition of anonymity, said, “It looks like the handiwork of a gang that has become active, taking advantage of present situation. Earlier, we had detected one such case and had arrested a gang from Jharkhand. In recent cases, we also suspect involvement of the same gang. We are hopeful that we will detect the cases and arrest the accused soon.”
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