Indian Idol singer Avanti Patel gets duped of ₹1.7 lakh in cyber fraud

Indian Idol 10 contestant and Bollywood singer Avanti Patel and her sister have been cheated for ₹1.7 lakh in cyber fraud through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) app

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Cyber fraud has become prevalent through the past few years with increased use of Internet Banking and with the introduction of applications such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI). In a similar case, Indian Idol 10 contestant and Bollywood singer Avanti Patel and her sister were duped by cyber fraudsters through the not so secure, 'secured online payments'. The singer along with her sister was cheated of ₹1.7 lakh via the UPI app.

Accordingly, she has filed a complaint at the Sion Police Station and told the police about the entire incident. Recently, Patel had applied for a new debit card that was not yet activated and suddenly, she received a call from a person named Pankaj Sharma. He introduced himself as a bank executive and asked her for all the details.

Patel was led to believe in the man after he told her correctly about her other details such as her bank balance. After she was convinced that he was a legitimate bank official, she disclosed her old debit card's expiry date and then he asked her to forward a message she just received on her mobile.

According to Avanti, the man had all of her other details (including her bank balance), that made her believe him to be a legitimate bank official, and she disclosed her old debit card’s expiry date, without suspecting foul play.

As soon as she forwarded him the message, she received a message stating ₹50,000 getting deducted from her account in three different transactions. After this, Sharma convinced her that the money would be refunded and told her to provide with another bank account. Therefore, she disclosed her sister's bank account details and gave her sister's debit card expiry date details to Sharma. He followed the same procedure and an amount of ₹50,000 was deducted from her sister’s account.

After which, he convinced her that that money too would be reimbursed and cut the call. When she did not receive the money back, Patel called on the phone number which was switched off and despite lodging a complaint and blocking the cards, more ₹70,000 was debited from their accounts, that evening.

The police officer who is investigating the case stated that possibly the fraudster may have created a fake UPI account which would have allowed him access to the account's details. He added that it would have resulted in data leak explaining how the fraudster was able to get so many details.

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