A 43-year-old man was convinced to share his ATM card details by a tele-caller who claimed the man’s elderly aunt’s pension would be stopped if it was not withdrawn from the bank in a day.
The money was, however, credited back to the account after a police complaint was lodged.
Srikanta Das, a resident of Narkeldanga, shared his ATM card details followed by four one-time passwords that were generated on his phone one after the other, using which Rs 34,000 was withdrawn from his account.
The caller had asked Srikanta to transfer some money to his aunt’s account to activate an ATM card that he promised to issue when Srikanta said he would not be able to visit the bank because of the lockdown.
It was only after the money was debited and the tele-caller could not be reached anymore that Srikanta, who works with a construction firm, realised he had been cheated. He reported the matter to the bank and lodged a police complaint on April 21.
Officers of the anti-bank fraud section of Lalbazar intervened and Srikanta received a text message on April 28 that said the amount had been credited back to his account.
“We never imagined it would be possible to get the money back. It was such a relief to get it back. We cannot thank the police enough,” a member of the Das family said.
Srikanta’s nephew, Pankaj, said the first call had come to the mobile phone number registered with the bank for the elderly aunt’s pension account at the Sashtitala branch of a nationalised bank.
“The man who called had introduced himself as a ‘central officer’ and claimed to have specific information about the pension account. He knew that no money had been withdrawn from the account for three months,” Pankaj said. “My uncle spoke to the man and was duped into sharing the details of the ATM card for his salary account.”
On sharing the card details, Srikanta received four OTPs on his phone, which he shared with the caller. Almost immediately, Rs 34,000 was withdrawn from his account on the pretext of transferring the amount to his aunt’s pension account.
The call was disconnected and when Srikanta tried to call back on the number, a recorded message said the phone was switched off.