Despite most major companies taking the effort to alert people to be careful of possible scams, some do fall into their prey. The latest case occurred in Mumbai and the victim was a 72-year old man residing in Bandra, who happened to lose a big sum of Rs 1.97 crore. This big scam racket began from a simple friend request on Facebook by a person posing to be a US military personnel posted in Afghanistan.
As reported by TOI, the Bandra resident had filed a complaint back in March of having been duped of Rs 1.97 crore. What started as an innocent friend request on Facebook led to the possibility of a business proposition. The victim said that the scammer offered a proposal for a partnership-based investment opportunity. The con man faked a transfer of money to a bank in India and even had a woman pose as an executive of the respective bank to confirm the transaction. This was followed by the victim being asked to deposit up to Rs 1.97 crore. He even received a debit card for withdrawing the deposits but it turned out to be fake. It was after this that the victim complained to the police about being scammed.
As the Mumbai police started investigations, it uncovered 108 bank accounts opened in different banks using fake PAN details. The fake bank accounts were opened in both Mumbai and Delhi. The said accounts have been frozen and the duped money has been withdrawn. The scammers have also been captured by the police. PAN is now mandatory for opening a savings bank account in India. The scammers could manage with the usage of fake PAN details. ALSO READ: Bengaluru citizens falling prey to online job scams amid massive job layoffs: Report
A senior officer of the Mumbai Police was quoted by TOI as saying, “During the scrutiny of the Know Your Customer (KYC) documents, it was found that most of the accounts were opened using PAN as the main proof. When we scrutinised those PAN cards, they were found to be fake. Further investigations led us to Mohammed Arif Shaikh a, resident of Naya Nagar. We picked him up and found several discriminating documents and 11 PAN cards from his office. He is an expert in making fake PAN cards. We are probing how he made these fake PAN cards and with whose help.”
Online fraudsters may use the easiest or convincing way to dupe people. While there are people wary enough to understand if they’re trying to be duped, there are many who fall prey to such activities. It may come as a simple SMS or email about one winning a lottery, and may believe. It is always wise to contact the police whenever anyone approaches with any such request of asking money to be deposited or bank account credentials. ALSO READ: OLX user escapes online scam, shows how fraudsters operate