Senior citizen cheated after he dials bank helpline | Ahmedabad News

Ahmedabad: Prakash Bidla (61) got a shock of his life when he found that the number he searched from a search engine and dialled turned out to be that of a fraudster who siphoned off Rs 9,999 from his bank account. Patel lodged a complaint with Vadaj police on Monday.

Recently, the city cyber cell had unearthed cases where fraudsters had inserter their phone numbers in search engines as call centre numbers of private and nationalised banks and pay wallets.

“This means, if you call on one of these numbers hoping it to be the number of a call centre which would help you resolve your issues, you could land into their web, unwittingly disclosing crucial information to fraudsters,” said a senior police officer.

The same thing happened with Bidla who is living a retired life. He wanted to add his wife’s name in the joint account instead of his younger son’s name. “He searched the helpline number of the nationalised bank in which he had a joint account and dialled it. The person from the other end asked him for another account in the same bank if he had. Bidla gave him the account number of another joint account which he had in the same bank. The persons then asked him to give the one time password (OTP) which will be received on his cellphone. Bidla gave him the OTP and lost Rs 9,999 from the account minutes later,” said the official.

Vadaj police are in touch with cyber cell sleuths and are working on getting the IP address of the cellphones and their locations on which Patel had called up thinking it to be the helpline number.

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An investigator said the scamsters use a tool that plugs into the website and enables one to experiment with different ways of adding content. “They also use an algorithm through which one can manipulate data,” he added.

Cyber experts said the scamsters also use search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. “The search engine always shows top results for certain key words and this is where the customer is trapped and ends up getting fake numbers and ultimately gets cheated,” said a cyber expert.

After getting a customer’s confidential account details, the scamster asks the person to share the OTP. Armed with the information, the fraudsters siphon off money from the customer’s account.

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