Pune IT Professional and Doctor Scammed of Rs 32 Lakh by Fake Officials

Cyber Fraud: 40-year-old man loses over Rs 46 lakh through Instagram post

Cyber Fraud: 40-year-old man loses over Rs 46 lakh through Instagram post

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Two women from Pune, an IT professional and a doctor, fall victim to a scam where impersonators posing as officials force them to transfer Rs 32 lakh under false pretences.

June 29, 2024

In Pune, an IT professional and a doctor were forced to transfer a total of Rs 32 lakh between May 16 and June 14. They were duped by unidentified callers posing as officials from the Mumbai cyber police and central probe agencies. The scammers threatened the women with arrest and prosecution for money laundering.

A police inspector (crime) reported that the callers convinced the IT professional from Yeolewadi that criminal cases had been registered against her in multiple states due to the misuse of her Aadhaar card for money laundering. They claimed that officials from the Customs department had intercepted a parcel supposedly in her name.

Initially, the woman denied sending any parcel. However, during a video call, the scammers showed bogus FIRs and arrest warrants in her name. They pressured her into transferring Rs 12 lakh in multiple transactions. The scammer claimed it was for verification and to avoid prosecution. They also told her that her Aadhaar card was linked to two suspicious bank accounts.

In her complaint, the victim stated that the callers posed as a sub-inspector and an IPS officer. They made video calls without showing their faces. Promising to help her evade arrest and they assured her that the money would be refunded after 30 minutes following verification. The woman transferred the money but realized she had been tricked when the scammers stopped communicating and refused to refund the money.

In the second case, a doctor residing in a medical college hostel under the Bharati Vidyapeeth police jurisdiction was a victim of fraud. She received similar calls from ‘central probe agency officials’ who threatened her with money laundering action. The inspector (crime) explained that the scammers, posing as TRAI officials, told the victim that her Aadhaar card was linked to another person’s cell phone. They said the person has 17 FIRs registered against him. The caller advised her to file an online complaint with the Mumbai police and then disconnected the call.

Later, the doctor received a video call from a person in a khaki uniform who posed as a Mumbai police official. He conducted an inquiry. After he verified her Aadhaar card number, he claimed an FIR for money laundering was lodged against her. He frightened her into believing she would be arrested and lured her into transferring money. He convinced her, promising to refund it after an inquiry. The victim complied, but soon realized she had been duped when the scammer refused to repay the money.

Authorities are investigating both cases and have urged the public to remain vigilant against such scams.