Ashok R Dasar, a traffic constable attached to the Wilson Garden police station, and a resident of Pulakeshi Nagar, told the jurisdictional police on Wednesday that he realised he had been conned after SMS alerts from the State Bank of India on Tuesday showed he was poorer by Rs 45,000.
Dasar said he had received a call from an unknown number on his mobile phone at 10.09 am on Monday. A woman spoke to him in Hindi and said she was calling from the “headquarters of ATM cards in Mumbai”. The caller told him his ATM card had expired and asked him for his card details so that she could provide him a new one.
Without doubting the credibility of the caller, Dasar blurted out the ATM card number and the woman gave him a “new PIN”. She then asked him for his old PIN and he revealed away, too. The caller then told him the new PIN would be activated in a couple of hours and cut the call.
Around 10 pm, he noticed there were around four to five SMSes from the bank, notifying transactions from his card. He checked the SMSes and realised someone had purchased goods using his ATM card number at various places such as Delhi, Hyderabad and Gurgaon, and had also paid a Vodafone mobile bill.
A total of Rs 45,010 had been siphoned off from Dasar’s account. He immediately called up the Customer Care of the State Bank of India and asked them to block his card.
Dasar told that he had a balance of Rs 72,000 in his account. “I got more than four SMS alerts from the bank at night and did not see them as I was busy with some household work. Later, when I checked my mobile phone, I realised someone had purchased items worth Rs 45,010 and had also paid the mobile phone bill.”
“On Wednesday morning, I dialled the same number and the woman answered the call, but on hearing my voice, she cut the call. I have provided all the details about the conversation and the transaction information to the police,” he said.
P Harishekaran, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime), said, “In recent days, it has been observed that people get calls from unknown numbers of 13 or 16 digit numbers on their mobile phones. They should be aware that such numbers are used as proxy and the callers are from different countries. They usually call and try to fool people by saying they have won prize money and ask for the bank account number so that they could transfer the money.
But they try to misuse the account number and manage to siphon off money. There are several cases reported about anonymous persons siphoning off money from bank accounts.
“Dasar’s case is an example for people that they should not reveal their bank account or ATM card details to anyone. In this case, there is information from where the caller had made the calls and we will track her at the earliest,” he said.