Rs. 70K fraudulently siphoned out from me online in less than 7 minutes.
Cyber fraud is very common nowadays. Beware of all those who try to cheat you or play as fraudsters. I also have been a victim of the same and am still bearing the brunt. In a very summarised form, the whole thing which happened to me has been jotted down here. It would absorb to read and help you understand what their actual Modus operandi remains.
Exactly two years back in 2020:
One fine morning, I received a call on my mobile asking for the KYC to be updated for my ‘Paytm’. That man was so impressive and seemed simple while talking that he during his talk took the charge of my Mobile by making me do certain steps in a manner as if he was guiding an untrained person like me to learn the steps to become tech-savvy. He asked me certain details which were just the address and the name etc. which were not risky and threatening at all. But he kept on keeping me busy with his talks only to make the interaction from long to prolong. What he had done was he had taken total control of my mobile into his device and he was not even asking for the OTPs which were automatically coming on the screen. He was doing his job quickly and keeping me busy in talks.
Suddenly I realized certain notifications coming fast on my mobile:
Certain notifications were coming one after the other rapidly, which I never used to get at such a speed. I started suspecting something wrong was happening, but I did not realize that these were the messages coming from my amounts getting deducted from my account. While being busy with the man on the phone who was just telling me to wait just for a few seconds since the number which he wanted was still not sent to him. My wife abruptly stopped my mobile by disconnecting the call by reaching on to my mobile in my hand only.
I was a helpless witness to my colossal loss.
Although I had spoken to him about why the deduction of the amount was happening and his reply was very convincing-he assured me that the same would be added back to my account and I had not to worry about the same. The sudden disconnect was the spot-on action to be done and the mind then helped us to save any further outflow or siphoning of the amount. But shockingly, what I observed was that till that time, just only in a few, say, five to six minutes, three transactions had already been completed. The first one was Rs. 50,000/-, the second of Rs,10,000/- and the third one again Rs.10,000/-. The total amount till that time had already gone up to Rs.70,000/-.
Suddenly I started feeling like a dejected lot.
Who had lost such a huge amount in no time and that too in front of my sight, doing nothing constructive to recover the same amount? I started realizing the plight of those hundreds of people who lose their hard-earned money either through their ‘wallet loss’ or through their ‘cash theft’ at home or elsewhere. I contacted the customer care people of the credit card bank. They advised me to go to the nearest Police station and file an FIR against the same by relating them to the true story which I had undergone.
I went to the Police station of Malviya Nagar, New Delhi:
They took all the details and made a detailed essay-type description with all other related details and proofs. They did not call it FIR, but they just wrote that the report dated so and so has been received from me for the records.
Did my immediate necessary work as directed by the bank:
I took the same receipt copy from the ‘Police Station’ and went to the bank-‘ICICI’-since the credit card belonged to that bank. Here again, I went to my local Malviya Nagar bank branch. The manager took the details and also the police report was attached to it. The manager told me that these reports would be sent to the cyber branch of their Credit Card cell for further necessary action. I was just thinking about the huge amount which was siphoned out so accurately from my accounts into the hacker’s account in almost a blinking of an eye.
Money started getting re-credited into my account later:
Later after a couple of hours when I checked the details of the three messages which had poured in during those transactions, I found that the bigger amount of Rs.50,000/- was transferred to Amazon and the other two transactions of ten thousand were transferred to ICICI and Ola. I thought that let me send these bigger houses also the details and convey to them that these transactions have been made in their name under a fraudulent transaction by the hackers on mobile itself.
Mails sent to the receivers of the transferred amount immediately without delay:
So emailed one detailed letter to Amazon with the police report and the similar one to the other two houses as well. To my utter surprise, I got Rs. 50.000/- back into my account as ‘credited back’ from M/S Amazon and Rs.10.000/also re-credited back into my account from ICICI people. Now only Rs.10,000/- which had been transferred to M/S Ola was still left, which was not being sent back or re-credited back. So as per these re-credits, my siphoning amount got reduced to just Rs.10,000/- instead of Rs.70,000/-.
Even after two years, the Bank gave a deaf ear to my grievance/case:
Today, even after fifteen months, there has been no news from their end (From ICICI or Ola) despite my sending them many reminders and also police reports with the bank details. I had even approached the ‘Reserve Bank of India’ through their grievances segment in the portal, but I could not get any convincing reply.In the meantime, I had stopped doing even a single penny transaction from the ICICI Credit card through which the fraudulent transactions had happened. Still, to my utter surprise, those guys have been sending me the same ten thousand rupees as their outstanding to me to be cleared with the timely interest rates levied compound Ly upon the basic amount of Rs.10,000/-. I had a lot of correspondence with them and their manager also told me on two occasions that the matter was closed and the recovery would be done by the bank from the receiver of the amount. Even though I had submitted a detailed reminder to the RBI as well still these guys have been sending me the reminder as the amount has been getting bigger with all interests/taxes levied upon the basic amount -which is nothing but a ‘fraudulent amount’.
No respect even to the RBI guidelines in case of Fraudulent transactions:
Look at the RBI advertisement-where they openly say if there was any such fraudulent transaction with the bank and the victim reports the matter within 24 hours to the concerned bank, then the victim should not worry about anything. But that is only the advertisement since I have still been receiving the reminders/bills/receipts and calls from the ICICI people for the same amount to be recovered from me, the victim.
So many questions come to my mind:
Why has the receiver of the amount as mentioned in the message at the time of transaction-M/S Ola not been contacted by ICICI to recover their amount?When the matter has been proven beyond doubt to be a fraudulent one-why still the Bank is harassing the victim for no fault of his?What is the sanctity of the RBI directive in this straightforward case of Fraudulent transaction?Why the Bank-ICICI is still levying all potential interest and tax rates on the basic fraudulent amount and making it to be a swollen amount nearing almost double the amount of the basic amount of discord?Why do the hackers/Fraud/cheaters involved in these sudden shifts of amounts direct these amounts to be credited to the bigger houses like Amazon, ICICI, and Ola?Was there any sense of understanding between the “certain” set of people from these big houses with the thieves /Cheaters/hackers as mentioned?Where goes the reputation of such bigger houses where these fraudulent amounts had been transferred?
My conclusion/lesson derived:
In the end, I have concluded that credit card fraud can happen if someone physically steals your card or virtually hacks your account, and it can be a serious headache to resolve. In my case, it was a clear-cut hacking and managing the screen control of my mobile. Talk bare minimum with the third party. Never talk about the numbers. Even if the unknown person asks about some information, it is better to cut the call rather than being under an obligatory stance to reply to him. Always ensure that the automatic saving of the passwords is also avoided, especially on the device-whether mobile or laptop. Try to use the laptop more frequently while doing the online transaction rather than using the mobile or the mobile app.
No foolproof way to stop the hackers, unfortunately:
Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof way to stop hackers from making such attempts, and fraudsters seem to always find new ways to tap into your information. But you can limit your chances of becoming a victim or minimize the damages from a fraudulent activity that’s already occurred on your accounts by remaining careful and proactive in your daily activities and functions.Today I heard the news of celebrity Salman Khan of Bollywood getting a poisonous snake bite on his farm. Let me tell you, we all are having these mobiles with live financial accounts and Bank Apps as the poisonous snakes around us. Till the time we take precautions we are safe and wherever there is a bit of carelessness we also would be inflicted with a poisonous snake bite by the highly surrounded snakes, like the hackers/fraudsters.=======================================================================
Following is the proof of my correspondence with the bank regarding the above mentioned fraudulent transaction:
On Thu, Apr 30, 2020, at 2:24 PM Ravi Tiku <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Following is the proof of my correspondence with the bank regarding the above fraudulent transactionally disputed amount of Rs.9999/- which was fraudulently transacted as already discussed many a time in my earlier mails.I once again request you to be kind and logical in giving the fair decision in my favor for wiping off this and closing my account as I have already given my amount which was due to me as per the earlier details sent. THE LATEST BILL DATED 28/04/2020 SHOWS THE ACCRUED INTEREST AMOUNT ON RS.9999/- AS RS.13410.64/- AS THE CUMULATIVE IS AGAIN THE REFLECTION OF YOUR NOT HEEDING ANY ATTENTION TOWARDS, YOUR CUSTOMER’S REQUEST MADE ALREADY. FINALLY, I AGAIN WANT TO REITERATE THAT I HAVE NOTHING AS THE BALANCE AND THE ACCRUED INTEREST IS BEING SENT TO ME WRONGLY ON THE FRAUDULENT TRANSACTION WHICH IS NOT DUE TO ME. THIS SAME MAY BE WAVED OFF AND MY CASE BE TAKEN AS THE “CASE SETTLED ONCE FOR ALL”. REGARDS, Ravi Tiku, C-18, Ist Floor, Malviya Nagar, New Delhiemail@example.com Mobile:-9811430860.
On Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020, at 6:11 PM Ravi Tiku <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:KIND ATTENTION:- ALAS—WHAT A PITY ????? DESPITE MY REPEATEDLY SENDING YOU THE MAIL AFTER MAIL CONVEYING THE FACT THAT THE FINAL PAYMENT AS PER MY TRANSACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, HAVE BEEN MADE LONG BACK AROUND THREE MONTHS BACK INTIMATING YOU PEOPLE TO CLOSE MY CASE AND HENCE ON-WARDS THERE WAS NO FURTHER ACCOUNT WITH YOU PEOPLE FOR THE CARD NO-4375511011987026.THE LATEST BILL DATED 27/03/2020 SHOWS THE ACCRUED INTEREST AMOUNT ON RS.9999/- AS RS.12293.01/- AS THE CUMULATIVE IS AGAIN THE REFLECTION OF YOUR NOT HEEDING ANY ATTENTION TOWARDS YOUR CUSTOMER’S REQUEST MADE ALREADY. THE FRAUDULENT PAYMENT TO M/S OLA OF RS,9999/- HAS BEEN UNNECESSARILY DEBITED TO MY ACCOUNT, AND THEREBY EVERY MONTH ON-WARDS THE INTEREST AS PER YOUR LIKING IS BEING COMPOUNDED UPON THE SAME AMOUNT FOR NO FAULT OF MINE. THE SAME MATTER WAS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED UPON BY ME BY GIVING THE FIR COPY IN YOUR BRANCH WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE HAPPENING AND DETAIL THEREAFTER BEING SENT TO YOU WITHOUT ANY DELAY FROM MY SIDE AS PER ATTACHED MAILS IN THIS TRAIL OF EMAILS ITSELF-WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED? BUT SURPRISINGLY NO REPLY FROM YOUR SIDE AND THE USUAL BILLS BEING SENT IN RETURN. HOPE YOU PEOPLE LOOK INTO THIS SIDE OF THE FUNCTIONING AS WELL AND GIVE YOUR DUE TOWARDS THE CUSTOMER’S PROBLEM AS WELL. FURTHERMORE, THE CREDIT CARD WHICH HAS NOT BEEN ISSUED TO ME RIGHT FROM THE TIME THE BLOCKING OF MY CARD WAS DONE-STILL WITHOUT ANY CARD ALSO BEING IN MY POSSESSION I AM BEING SENT EVERY MONTH THE BILLS WITH INTEREST ACCRUED THEREUPON THE SAME FRAUDULENT AMOUNT. FINALLY, I AGAIN WANT TO REITERATE THAT I HAVE NOTHING AS THE BALANCE AND THE ACCRUED INTEREST IS BEING SENT TO ME WRONGLY ON THE FRAUDULENT TRANSACTION WHICH IS NOT DUE TO ME. THIS SAME MAY BE WAVED OFF AND MY CASE BE TAKEN AS THE “CASE SETTLED ONCE FOR ALL”.REGARDS,Ravi Tiku, C-18, Ist Floor, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110017. email@example.com Mobile:-9811430860.
On Mon, Mar 16, 2020, at 11:55 AM Ravi Tiku <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
URGENT & IMPORTANT KIND ATTENTION:- NO REPLY FROM YOUR SIDE AND HAVE NOT BEEN SENT THE CREDIT CARD WHICH IS LYING WITH YOU FROM THE TIME OF BLOCKING MY EARLIER NUMBER IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE FRAUDULENT TRANSACTION TOOK PLACE. STILL, YOU PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SENDING ME THE BILLS INFLATED WITH THE UNNECESSARY INTERESTS ACCRUED THEREUPON-SPECIALLY WHEN I HAVE NOT BEEN HAVING THE CARD AT ALL WITH YOU. HOW CAN YOU CHARGE ME WITHOUT THE CARD BEING THERE WITH THE CUSTOMER? NOW I WANT TO REITERATE THAT I HAVE SENT ALL THE DUE PAYMENTS FROM MY SIDE AS PER MENTIONED IN MY EARLIER EMAILS AS WELL AND I DON’T WANT THE CREDIT CARD ALSO. PLEASE TREAT THIS AS A CLOSED CASE FROM YOUR END AND CONFIRM THE SAME & OBLIGE.REGARDS,Ravi Tiku,C-18,Ist Floor,Malviya Nagar,New Delhiemail@example.com Mobile:-9811430860.
On Tuesday, Mar 3, 2020, at 1:05 PM Ravi Tiku <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Kind Attention:- Once again the usual cycle bill dated 28th Feb’2020 has been sent to me with additional interest accrued upon the disputed amount of Rs.9999/- which has been the subject of dispute because of a fraudulent transaction happening in favor of M/S OLA. My earlier emails mention clearly that the actual amount which was due to me has been already paid. With a request to close this for good as the final settlement was done. I request you to look into this and close this case for good. Since I have not to pay anything extra and the new card too has been lying with you from the date, this was blocked because of the fraudulent transaction done. Therefore, kindly do not send me, again and again, the bills month after month. Regarding this, I have already talked to Mr. Karan Narang also and as per his directions; I have done all the documentation as well. Please do not bother your “once upon a time” very good customer-any more. THANK YOU IN ANTICIPATION FOR THE FAVORABLE RECIPROCATION. regards,Ravi Tiku, C-18, Ist Floor, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110017. email@example.com Mobile:-9811430860. 📷