Kolkata: Cases of online fraud have skyrocketed with technology being introduced into our banking systems and it has reached greater levels during the lockdown this year, where many weren’t able to visit banks for carrying out their regular transactions.
While some are aware of this problem, many aren’t still conscious of such a criminal activity. And they are the most vulnerable to such online threats.
Kabita Ghosh was experiencing a normal Sunday afternoon when she received a message stating that her SIM card would be blocked.
Bewildered and puzzled as one should be in such situations, she frantically calls up a phone number that was given with that message and a person on the other side instantly complied to assist her.
She didn’t have even the slightest of ideas that this would start off a process which leads to her losing exact Rs 45,000.
The person, representing her telecom company BSNL, offered her help and made sure that she had an internet connection, before asking about her ATM details.
“I never used net banking and so I shared my ATM details because he asked me to do so. I did it further because he told me that without this process, my problem wouldn’t be solved,” Ghosh said, in a telephonic interaction with The Lateralz.
The man asked her to transfer Rs 10 at first and Ghosh even shared the OTP and the CVV number of the card, but eventually Rs 12 was deducted from her account.
The man, who by now, understood that Ghosh didn’t have enough experience in online banking, asked for her ATM details.
She added, “I don’t know how but he somehow convinced me to reveal my ATM details. Further, I shared my CVV details, completely unaware of the fact that one is not supposed to share it.”
This raised the initial signs of doubt and mistrust in Ghosh. All of this got compounded when the man strongly asked me not to refer to my son for help, when I wanted to do so.
“He frantically asked me not to do it and insisted that I entire process all by myself,” she shared.
This was when things started to turn for the worse for Ghosh, who ended up losing a total of Rs 45,000 over five transactions.
Post this horrific experience, the 72-year-old decided to try and block her card all by herself. She eventually rushed to the bank for help and reported this matter.
“They told me that they are going to look into this issue. I was a banking professional myself in the past but I don’t why how and why I got convinced by the man to share my account details,” Ghosh said, while ruing the fact that she should have gone by her doubts and not trusted this fraud.
She also filed an FIR at the detective department of Kolkata police, Lalbazar, but remains without any hopes.
“I don’t think I’ll get my money back, but le see what the future holds,” she said.
Several days after losing the money, the elderly woman managed to connect to the Lalbazar where she was provided with another number to get the status update. Shockingly, the personnel on the other side of the call said they haven’t received any such complaint, and the victim should get in touch with the police station she lodged the complaint with.
We will update the story as and when the police and the bank concerned are available for reactions.