Techie loses Rs 1.27L while trying to buy liquor online

Bengaluru techie defrauded of Rs 1.27 lakh while trying to buy liquor online

Dispirited and depleted

Jagannathan dialled the number and spoke to a man who introduced himself as a staffer at the liquor outlet and took the order. The bill came up to Rs 1,500. (Representative Image)

Wanting to buy liquor online, a 40-year-old software engineer lost Rs 1.27 lakh to a fraudster, who asked him to share his credit card details and the OTP to complete payment. 

Arjun Jagannathan, a resident of Yelenahalli, stated in a police complaint that he had been at his mother’s house for a get-together on January 19 and wanted to buy liquor online. Searching for outlets delivering liquor home, he came across one near Kothanur Dinne with a phone number. 

Jagannathan dialled the number and spoke to a man who introduced himself as a staffer at the liquor outlet and took the order. The bill came up to Rs 1,500. 

The man asked Jagannathan to make an online payment for the home delivery as they do not have the cash-on-delivery option. Believing that he called the outlet, Jagannathan shared his credit card details. The caller later asked him to share the OTP to complete payment. Jagannathan did as told. He got a text message confirming that Rs 1,500 has been debited from his account.

The caller said there was a technical problem and requested Jagannathan to share the fresh OTP he had sent. When Jagannathan did, he received the text message saying Rs 6,000 was debited from his account. 

The man claimed it to be another technical glitch and asked Jagannathan to keep sharing a series of OTPs. In the end, the techie had lost Rs 78,742. 

The man once again apologised and blamed it on technical glitches. He promised to meet Jagannathan in person and return the money. He then asked him to scan a Paytm QR code that he sent by WhatsApp. This way, the caller said he could try sending all the money Jagannathan had sent.

“I undoubtedly scanned the QR Code and Rs 49,001 was debited from my UPI-linked savings account. I realised that I was cheated by the conman, hung up and rushed to the police station to file a complaint. But it was a Sunday and the staff concerned were not available. So I filed the complaint on Monday,” he told DH

He immediately called the bank to block his account and stop the payments, but officials said they would not be able to stop credit card payments and UPI transactions. 

Pointing out that online money thefts are getting increasingly common, an investigating officer said the police had taken up the case under the Information Technology Act and are making efforts to nab the fraudster. The fraudster’s bank account is in a Jammu branch, the officer added.