Man picks bank’s fake number from internet for card activation, loses Rs 2.77 lakh

A 61-year-old steel businessman from Malad (west) fell prey to cyber-fraud when he picked up a fake number of his bank from the internet to activate his credit card and ended up calling a cyber-fraudster who tricked him into transferring Rs 2.77 lakh.

The complainant told the police that he has been using a credit card for over two decades now and that he had recently got one issued from Citibank which has a credit limit of Rs 5 lakh.

He, however, said the credit card needed activation after its due verification. So, he went on the internet on April 3 around 11 am to search for the Citibank phone number, following which he ended up getting a fake number of the bank uploaded by a cyber-fraudster.

The senior citizen had no idea that cyber-fraudsters give their own number on Google as that of customer care of banks, helpline numbers of online shopping portals, wine shops, courier services, cake shops and sweet shops, etc.

He called on the number and got no response but within minutes he received a phone call from a mobile number when the fraudster impersonated a bank official from Citibank and offered help.

The fraudster sent a fraudulent link to the senior citizen asking him to update his address on the link. “He said I will receive a One Time Password (OTP) on my phone to update my address. He asked me to share the OTP. I got a message from “VM-CITYBK” and it read “PTP is 10***7 for address Change,” the businessman told the police.

“I trusted him and sent the OTP following which, in three transactions, Rs 2.77 lakh got transferred from my account. Soon after I got the alerts, the man cut the phone and did not pick up when I called him again,” he added. The senior citizen then realised that he had been duped and approached the police.

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