Looks like ‘secured online payments’ are not so secure after all. And Indian Idol 10 contestant and Bollywood Singer Avanti Patel will vouch for the above statement, for the lady and her sister were recently duped of a huge sum of money, to the tune of Rs 1.7 lakhs via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app. A report in Mumbai Mirror read that this was the supposed way that was used to rob Avanti and her sister of the money. Who Is Salman Ali, Indian Idol 10 Winner? Haryana Singer Wins 25 Lakhs and a Brand New Car As Prize (See Photos)
The singer filed a complaint at the Sion Police Station and recounted the incident.
Avanti had recently applied for a new debit card that was yet to be activated and she received a call from a person named Pankaj Sharma, who identified himself as a bank executive. According to Avanti, the man had all of her other details (including her bank balance), that made her believe him to be a legitimate bank official, and she disclosed her old debit card’s expiry date, without suspecting foul play.
She soon received a text message that the caller told her to send to a mobile number he had given her, but as soon as she did so, she received a message of Rs 50000 getting deducted from her account in 3 different transactions. However, the caller told the singer that the money would be credited back soon and asked her for other bank accounts’ details and that was when the singer gave the man details of her sister’s bank account, as a ‘guarantor’. Avanti then told him the expiry date on her sister’s debit card from the same bank, and the caller again confirmed all the relevant banking details and even her sister’s mobile number. He followed the same procedure and an amount of Rs 50,000 was deducted from her sister’s account.
This time too, the caller promised the money would be reversed in a few minutes. Avanti waited for some time, but when the money did not get credited to her or her sister’s accounts, she called back on the fraudster’s numbers, but they were switched off.
Her ordeal did not end there. On realizing that she had been cheated, Avanti called up the numbers, but they were switched off and despite lodging a complaint and blocking the concerned cards, more cash of up to Rs 50,000 from Avanti’s account and Rs 20,000 from her sister’s account were debited that very evening, revealed Avanti’s father Pankaj Patel.
The family has questioned how the fraudsters gained access to so much of personal information that is only privy to the bank, “What is mysterious in this case is how they managed to get hold of so many details about the bank accounts, and how they managed to transfer the money, even after both debit cards were blocked. The data has been compromised,” he was quoted as saying to Mirror.
Also, a police officer investigating the case revealed, “The fraudster created and used a fake UPI account to carry out the fraudulent transactions, which may have allowed him to access the account. There is a possibility of data leaks, as the victim had only shared the cards’ expiry date; most of the information was already with the fraudster,” on the condition of anonymity.