A 23-year-old woman who purchased a garment on a website she found on a social media platform was duped out of Rs 79,500 when she tried to track its delivery status on the site of a courier company.
Samapika Roy Choudhury said she neither clicked on any link nor made a payment of Rs 5 that she was asked to. But she lost the money from her account while trying to track the delivery status of the product.
“I had ordered a garment for Rs 1,999 on August 10 and paid the amount. On August 14, I got an email saying I was going to receive the package that day. The email had a tracking ID of a reputable courier company. I was told to use the ID to check the delivery status,” Roy Choudhury told The Telegraph on Friday.
She visited the website of the courier company and used the tracking ID to track her parcel. The website displayed a message: “status not known”. “But simultaneously, I received a message saying ‘your request has been accepted’ and ‘the delivery agent will contact you soon’,” she said.
She received a call from a man who introduced himself as the delivery agent. He told her the parcel had accidentally been misrouted and she had to make a payment of Rs 5 by clicking on a link.
“I refused. He gave me a second option. He gave me a number and said it was of another delivery agent and I needed to send a ‘Hi’ to this person, after which I could pay Rs 5 in cash upon delivery. I refused and turned down this offer, too,” she said.
Finally, she was told that a “verification code” would be sent to her on WhatsApp that she would have to share with the caller. She agreed and shared the code.
“This happened when I was not at home. Later, when I returned home, I found the parcel had been delivered even before I had received the call,” she said.
Three days later, on Thursday, she received a text message from her bank informing her Rs 79,500 had been debited from her account.
“I am clueless about what happened. I did not click on any link or send a message to an unknown number. I just shared a code that came on WhatsApp,” she said.
She lodged a complaint with Nimta police station. A probe was started.
The modus operandi of the fraud is yet to be established.
An officer said there was no unusual activity on Roy Choudhury’s phone in the intervening three days (August 14 to 17) that could have led to the siphoning off of the money, making them suspect that the fraud was linked to the code she shared.