Perhaps the headlines of this post may sound little weird but, this is the best way, one can express A disappointment and frustration of getting robbed online by the Cyber Thieves. The Cyber Criminals are Drilling a Hole in Your Pocket without your knowledge, and the victim realizes only after getting robbed. There are many cases of cyber theft that have come up recently in the news but, more than that have never been reported out of an embarrassment of getting fooled by the cyber thieves. This story had been posted by one of the well-known personalities in Goa Dr. Nandita DeSouza on her Facebook wall, narrating how the cybercriminals fleeced her of Rs. 35,000.
The Cyber Criminals have their own way of hunting its prey, and their technics have kept evolving with the time. The story of Nandita will give you a very clear picture that no one is safe and smart enough to escape the clutches of Cyber Thieves. According to Nandita, She received a call today morning from a very professional sounding lady, who suggested her to have called from SBI (State Bank of India) Debit Card Division, for the verification and issuance of a new debit card to her, and from here until the end of entire conversation, the online rogues made sure that they have archived their goals.
Today I am in a very generous mood!
To start with, this morning I had a very expensive but effective, practical, hands-on, one on one, personalized tutorial on cyber theft, for which I paid a cool INR 35,000 in fees. Since my generosity is in full flow, I am sharing this educational experience with you FOR FREE! Here is the lesson…
I received a call from a very professional sounding lady from Tel 921370072 who wished me Namaskar in fluent Hindi confirming that I had the SBI debit card (which I haven’t used for around 5 years) and informing me that since it was an old card, it would be blocked and a new card would be issued. Since I had some points on my card, they needed to transfer this to my new card. I politely informed her that I would not be sharing any details about my card. To which she replied that it was very smart of me. However, she assured me that they would not ask for any personal details like the PIN, date of birth, etc.
Later on, she told me the first 8 digits of my card number and said that I had to give the remaining digits, after which I would get an OTP which I should tell her to help her verify the new card. I was hooked (I am giving myself 2 resounding slaps at this moment).
When the OTP came through and I shared it (another 2 thapads (slaps) ) she said that the server was slow and that OTP had expired so a new one would be issued in a few moments. This went on for a few more times.
Each time the OTP was ‘useless’ she apologized profusely and thanked me for my patience in sharing the new one. In between I was attending to a dozen other things, so I too was distracted. She kept telling me not to disconnect, she had to talk to her manager and reconfirm.
This time a man came on and again thanked me enthusiastically (by now, they had already spent around 25K of my money) I was thoroughly confused by now, so he helpfully informed me to delete all the old OTPs and ONLY tell him the last one. In this manner, I shared another 2 OTPs – he said ‘That’s the old one, tell me the new one’- a total of seven in all.
Each time INR 4999 was withdrawn from my account – in payment to SBI Buddy and Paytm. In short, they were cyber thieves and I had been had a big time. I am aghast, astounded and ashamed that I allowed it to happen and did not suspect A THING till I received a call from SBI telling me that I had been a victim of cyber-theft.
Unfortunately, I was in my ‘complete’ senses and cannot blame my foolishness and gullibility on alcohol or drugs too! Maybe it is an early sign of dementia???
In hindsight, I think my undoing was
1) hearing the first 8 digits of my debit card and thinking that this was confirmation of the authenticity of the caller
2) over-confidence in believing that I am an educated, savvy doctor who cannot be cheated
3) being distracted and hence not vigilant.
On the positive side
1) it could have been a larger amount
2) I still have both my kidneys
3) No one died in the process of ‘bakra-fication’
I have reported this matter to the bank and the police but, it does not seem likely that the thieves will get caught. Apparently there is no way to trace them, though I have the phone number and transaction details??? How is that the thieves knew the first 8 digits of my card and had my phone number??
Looking for some answers from those of you who are cyber-money-smart.
I am sharing this crazy and now laughable story so that others may be protected. Never let your guard down and NEVER share your credit or debit card details with anyone. And if any of you reading this would like to pay for this lesson, inbox me and I will send you my bank details, ha! ha!
PS: The drawing was made by one of my clients’ many moons ago – I wish I had had some ‘dishkyaon’ this morning!
So What do you think after reading this story? It is quite possible that many of you might have encountered similar incident and many of you might not have bothered to share with others but this brave lady has decided to share her experience with everyone so that at least some of you might learn something from this. If you want to share your experience on this issue please do write it down in the comment box as you never know, it may help many innocent people to get away from the clutches of cyber thieves.