Farmer takes on cybercriminal, recovers lakhs lost in fraud


55-year-old Pawan Kumar Soni, who is a farmer based in Sri Ganganagar city Rajasthan, fell victim to a cyber fraud when his 26-year-old son Harshvardhan opened a link to a phishing message that flashed on his mobile phone. More than 8 lakh rupees were withdrawn from his account in four separate transactions within a few minutes.

Vardhan, who lives in Dwarka Delhihad registered his phone number in his father’s account at the State Bank of India branch in Sri Ganganagar city.

At 3.45 pm on Saturday, January 7, a message on his mobile said, “Your account is blocked, please update your KYC.”

Harsh already had the Yono application but the moment he clicked on the link, another duplicate app was downloaded on his phone.

“I thought I should update my KYC on this new app, so I entered my user ID and password. Suddenly, I started getting withdrawal messages from my father’s account and within seven minutes we had 8, 03,899 lost,” Vardhan said.

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Later he came to know that his phone had been hacked with the help of a duplicate app and the user ID and password he had given had been accessed by a cyber fraud elsewhere.

The fraud was a loan taken by his father under Kisan Credit Card Scheme for farming purposes.

Vardhan called his father in Ganganagar City, who rushed to the bank to inform the manager. Vardhan went to the District Cyber ​​Cell in Dwarka where he was asked to file a complaint online and visit the office on any working day.

The bank manager immediately acted on his father’s suggestion and called the local cyber cell. The manager also sent an email to the financial institutions to block the accounts into which the money was transferred.

“The manager told me that the money from my account went to three accounts – Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1.24 lakh went to PayU, 1,54,899 was transferred to CCAvenue, and the remaining Rs 25,000 went to Axis Bank,” Soni said.

Both PayU and CCAvenue are digital payment companies that act as a bridge between customers and business enterprises. They collect payments from shoppers when they shop online and transfer them to merchants’ bank accounts.

“The bank manager informed me that PayU returned his email and said that it has withheld the money. It also said that if it receives an email from the cybercrime department within two days to refund the amount. If not received, it will release the money to the merchant’s account,” Sony alleged.

CCAvenue said it also responded to cyber authorities and provided all information on January 7, when the company learned about the said fraud.

On the other hand, his son Vardhan filed an online complaint and went to lodge an FIR two days later on Monday, which was rejected.

“Then I met the Additional DCP who instructed the SHO to lodge an FIR. Finally, it was lodged on January 10, three days after the fraud,” he said.

Vardhan then requested the Dwarka cyber cell to email PayU and ask him to remit the money to his father’s account. Vardhan alleged, “The policemen only made empty promises and did nothing.

His father then contacted the Cyber ​​Cell of Ganganagar City. He wrote to PayU and 6,24,000 paise was returned to his account.

But Soni was adamant to track the money trail in Axis Bank and CCAVN.

“On my request, my relative’s friend who is a digital finance professional tracked it down and found that the 25,000 that went to Axis Bank was withdrawn from an ATM in Kolkata,” Soni said.

“Another Rs 1,54,899, which was transferred to CCAvenue, of which Rs 1,20,000 was used by the fraudster to buy some goods from a Jio store in Kolkata,” Soni said, adding that he had informed the concerned police. Talked to the station. Kolkata but he said that he would not do anything until he received it in writing from the Delhi Police.

He alleged that all this time he and his son kept asking the Cyber ​​Cell of Dwarka to write to Axis Bank, CCNews and Kolkata Police but they kept stopping him and did so only on January 23 which was too late.

“I have also got his name and address,” Sony said, alleging that such fraudsters register themselves as merchants with digital payment companies that do not do due diligence while checking their KYC. .

“When I can find the money trail, why can’t the police? They can do it quickly and easily,” Soni said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Dwarka, Harsha Vardhan told PTI that the Delhi Police regularly receives a large number of complaints on the ICMS (Integrated Complaint Management System) portal.

“We process them and seek details from the concerned agencies/organizations. In the present case, the National Cyber ​​Crime Reporting Portal (NCRP) received a complaint on January 9 and an FIR was registered on January 10. From the bank The account details were asked for. On getting the details, mails were sent. There is always scope to improve and speed things up but we also face delays from banks in getting the details,” Harshvardhan said. said

Fintech experts say that since the end customer is the most vulnerable victim of phishing scams, it is natural to expect them to be more vigilant, however, by not allowing payment networks and banks to set up such accounts as well. A big responsibility and operated

“Adopting strict KYC procedures enables financial institutions to quickly map fraudulent money and keep the money at their end,” said Satyam Kumar, a former banker who heads LoanTap, a digital NBFC.

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