Hyderabad: A gang of cyber crooks reportedly based in Bihar has shown that boundaries and borders do not exist in the cyber underworld. Their victim was an 88-year-old retired Indian Railways employee from Hyderabad, who was on a visit to the United States when the fraudsters managed to trick him into sharing his bank account details, and in a span of three days, stole Rs 20.6 lakh from his accounts, which in essence was all his hard-earned savings including pension.
This happened in May this year. However, nearly after six months, NS Moorthy is still yet to get his money back despite lodging complaints on the National Cybercrime portal and with the Hyderabad Cybercrime police. According to Moorthy’s daughter N Geetha, Moorthy, a retired senior Deputy Chief Engineer of the Indian Railways, was in California when he received an SMS on his mobile phone, informing him that his State Bank of India account was blocked.
“As it was his pension account, he anxiously clicked on the link in the SMS thinking it to be a genuine message from the bank. Soon, he received a call on his mobile phone from a person claiming to be a bank executive. The fraudster sent an ‘Any Desk’ link asking Moorthy to share his personal and bank account details including OTP, to which he did accordingly,” he said. And then, from May 3 to 6, a total of Rs 20.6 lakh was siphoned off from three bank accounts using credit and debit cards, he said.
“I am presently in the US on a visit and unable to return to India due to travel restrictions on the account of the corona situation in the two countries. My pension amount is the only source of my living and the loss of money is the source of extreme worry and anxiety,” Moorthy said.
He said the bank officials were alerted and a complaint was also lodged on the National Cybercrime portal and the Hyderabad Cybercrime Cell as well within 72 hours. The Hyderabad Police booked a case and took up the investigation, with preliminary inquiry revealing that phishing gangs operating from Bihar were involved in the fraud.
However, their exact location and identity were yet to be known, with the police saying the pandemic has hampered progress in the case as special teams need to be sent to the suspected location and with the help of local police, searches have to be done.
Moorthy, meanwhile, is anxiously waiting for the police to make a breakthrough in the case and get his money back.
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