Digital marauders walk away with life savings of junior govt staffer

Jaipur: Cyber criminals stole Rs 14 lakh from the bank account of Jaipur resident Shashank Pathak by transferring the amount through the National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) to a different account.

The illegal transaction first took place on Sunday, but Pathak did not receive any text message. On Monday and Tuesday, Rs 14 lakh were withdrawn from the account. Pathak received a message the next day that his balance was only Rs 4 lakh. The criminals, it was found, had already withdrawn Rs 9 lakh from the account they had transferred the money to.

Eight fraudulent transactions in a day

Pathak lodged a complaint in Sanganer police station. He told the police that on Tuesday at 10:30 am, he received two message about Rs 1.3 lakh and Rs 1.7 lakh being transferred to another account. He has an account at the Durgapur branch of Bank of Baroda. His bank statement showed that unknown persons had withdrawn Rs 2 lakh on Monday and Rs 12 lakh through eight transactions on Tuesday between 10:30-11:00 am.

Pathak said that he had Rs 21 lakh in his account, which he had saved over the last 13 years. Pathak is a contractual employee with National Rural Health Mission. DCP Vikas Pathak said that investigation is on in the case.

Frauds galore

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  • On an average, money is stolen from the accounts of 35 persons every day through ATM card cloning, ATM card hacking and illegal access to ATM information.
  • Over the last five months, in the 56 police station areas of city, criminals have stolen between Rs 2000 – 2.5 lakhs from accounts of more than 200 people.[/box]

Bank’s claim: We saved 12 lakh

A Bank of Baroda official said that Pathak’s mobile and net banking passwords were stolen. Pathak informed the Udyog Bhavan branch at 11 am about the fraud. The bank officials informed the Durgapura branch where Pathak had an account, and the bank manager froze his account, saving the remaining Rs 7 lakh from being lost. After this, the bank contacted the NEFT processing center and also stopped the transfer of Rs 5 lakh.

The bank official said that in case of NEFT done through net banking, an OTP is generated for every transaction. The criminals hacked Pathak’s mobile, stole the OTP and did not let the message from the bank reach Pathak.

Accounts need to be linked when using NEFT

While using NEFT, the accounts of the two parties have to be linked. The transfer takes places an hour after the accounts are linked. Information about the linking of account and the OTP is sent via text to the account holder. The accounts are linked only after the OTP is entered.