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Bowbazar man tricked while deactivating credit card

According to police, fraudster had made victim download an app that could enable screen-sharing

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 14.01.23, 07:30 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

File picture

A 56-year-old Kolkatan received a credit card from a nationalised bank but was unwilling to use it and hence decided to deactivate the card to avoid paying charges.

He looked for the bank's customer care number on a popular search engine on the internet. He dialled a number and the person who answered the call convinced him to download an app, through which he was allegedly defrauded of Rs 1.35 lakh.


The man was at his workplace in Bowbazar when he made the call and was allegedly cheated a few weeks ago. He rushed to Bowbazar police station within an hour to report the matter.

The police could freeze the transactions of the e-wallet where his money was transferred and recovered Rs 1.13 lakh last week, an officer said.

“The fact that the complainant reported the matter almost as soon as the fraud happened helped us take a prompt action. Any delay in reporting the matter could result in the transfer of the money through a series of e-wallets and bank accounts, making it very difficult to recover it,” said an officer of Bowbazar police station.

How did the fraud happen? The complainant who wanted to deactivate his new credit card searched for the customer care number of the nationalised bank that had issued the card on a search engine and came across a number.

“The person who answered the call introduced himself as a customer care executive of the bank and guided him through a series of steps to deactivate the card. In between, he fished out the victim's account details and convinced him to download an app on his phone and share a passcode generated on his phone,” said the officer.

Once the passcode was allegedly shared, the complainant received two text messages from his bank alerting him that money had been debited from his bank account and the card he was trying to deactivate.

“We found during investigation that the money had been transferred to an e-wallet. We contacted the company and froze Rs 1.13 lakh. The rest was transferred to other accounts and withdrawn,” said an officer.

No one was arrested till late on Friday.

The officer said the fraudster had made the victim download an app that could enable screen-sharing.

Many Kolkatans, including senior citizens, are duped by fraudsters who pose as bank officials, electricity board officials or tour operators and persuade victims to download screen-sharing apps.


Where the complainant erred

■ Used the internet to search for the customer care number of the bank. Only official websites should be relied upon to look for customer care numbers.

■ Shared his bank details with the person over the phone thinking he was a bank official.

■ Allegedly shared the passcode generated on his phone after he downloaded an app, giving the fraudster access to his phone.

Where the complainant did not err

■ Report the matter to police as soon as the fraud happened.

Last updated on 14.01.23, 07:30 AM

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