Online fraudster cheats Mangaluru ex-MLA JR Lobo

Mangaluru: Despite repeated warnings from banks and authorities, people continue to fall prey to fraudsters, who get bank details from unsuspecting customers and clean out their accounts. This time, the victim was former MLA of Mangaluru City South constituency J.R. Lobo. 

Online fraudsters succeeded in stealing Rs 49,000 from his State Bank of India account.

On Thursday, Mr Lobo received a call on his mobile number. The caller, speaking in fluent English, introduced himself as a representative of SBI. He told Mr Lobo that as KYC details had not been provided by him, his bank account and card would be frozen. Mr Lobo told the person that he would contact the bank and provide the documents needed. 

But the fraudster told Mr Lobo that the process could be completed through the phone call. 

Mr Lobo, who is also a former KAS officer and had served as the Commissioner of Mangaluru City Corporation, did not believe the person completely and questioned him. 

But the man on the other end told Mr Lobo that the ex-MLA could continue to have suspicion while he would go ahead and block the account. 

"His fluent English and confidence made me believe that he was from SBI," Mr Lobo said. The fraudster asked Mr Lobo to give details, based on which the account would be allowed to continue. 

The person mentioned the first few numbers of Mr Lobo's card and asked him if it was his card number to which he agreed. The fraudster also asked to name the service provider of the card which Lobo mentioned. Finally, the person told Lobo that a One Time Password (OTP) would be sent to him and asked Mr Lobo to read out to him.

“I would have doubted if he had asked for CVV number. But he asked me the OTP. As the entire discussion was about KYC, I did not have any doubt. I told him both OTPs," he told Deccan Chronicle.

The fraudster did not stop there. He seemed to have grown confident by then and asked Mr Lobo if he had any account in other banks. Lobo said that he had an account in another bank.

The caller asked the number of the card and also the 'number behind the card.' 

By then Lobo got annoyed as he knew the person was asking for the CVV number, which nobody is supposed to share. When Lobo refused to give it, the caller told him that SBI would deduct Rs 50,000 from his account as he failed to give all the details they had asked for. 

“I questioned him. I also told him that I would fight legally if any money was deducted from my bank. The caller said that I could file a case and disconnected the call," Mr Lobo said.

As soon as he disconnected the call, Lobo found himself victim of an online fraud. By then Rs 49,000 was deducted from his account and was transferred to online wallet of a mobile company and also a taxi service provider. 

Lobo approached the police and gave all the details. “I preferred to go to the police as all those behind this fraud should be punished. I have mentioned all the details to the police. Police have to keep an eye on these accounts to which my money was transferred and track the person who uses it. If the police track them it would be easy for them to catch the people behind this," Lobo said. 

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