Mumbai Businessman Victim of a Con Email
The world is full of frauds and con emails and a businessman based in Mumbai has fallen prey to one of these con emails where he lost Rs. 63 lakh after a nationalized bank transferred funds on emailed requests from a fraud who had hijacked the customer’s ID, claiming that he could not speak to the bank personally as he had a “sore throat.”
The bank initiated several transactions, disregarding the standard practice, including liquidating the businessman’s fixed deposits, on the basis of the emails without any detailed instruction to do so. Even as the correspondence continued for almost a month, the bank failed to verify the credentials of the account holder through other means of communication.
The Santacruz resident Chander, who has business interests abroad, holds a NRE known as non-resident (external) rupee account with the city branch of the nationalized bank. He is also holding some fixed deposits jointly with his wife.
Chander had come to know about the fraud when he visited the branch on December 13th. While he talked to the bank, he came to know that the bank had transferred about 60,000 pounds which is approximately Rs 63 lakh at the time of transactions as per the instructions of the bank claiming to have received from his registered email ID.
Chander’s Lawyer Prashant Mali also a cyber law and security expert said that the fraudster claimed to have a sore throat and could not speak. The fraudster claimed that he was in London for a treatment and requested the bank to transfer $40,000 to Chander’s account in a private bank there.
Due to these instructions, the bank liquidated some fixed deposits and transferred the money in dollars to its London branch for crediting into the fake account which had been mentioned in the email. Mali stated that “the money was remitted back to the Santacruz branch since the transfer could be carried out only in British pounds.” Chander’s complaint stated that afterwards, the bank converted the $40,000 to approximately 30,000 pounds and transferred it to the London account on November 21st.
The fraudster then sent a mail again claiming that he had not received the money yet and had taken a loan in order to meet the treatment expenses. He had offered to trace the funds which had been sent and requested that the bank send the money again to the account of his company, Nicky Ventures which was maintained in a private bank in London, which the bank officials did five days later. In one of the mails that were sent, the bank had provided details of the fixed deposits and the maturity dates to the fraudster though it had not been sought, he added.