An elderly man from south Mumbai was allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 4.35 crore by a cyber fraudster, who told him that he was entitled to get a Provident Fund corpus of Rs 11 crore, police said on Thursday.
The incident came to light after the 71-year-old man’s wife approached the Cuffe Parade police station and lodged a complaint, an official said. ”In her complaint, she said she received a call from a woman in May this year. The caller claimed that she was speaking from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). In order to win the victim’s trust, the caller provided all relevant information about the complainant’s husband to her,” he said.
The caller also told the complainant that her husband’s company had deposited Rs 4 lakh in his EPF account for a period of 20 years and he is now entitled to get the maturity amount of Rs 11 crore. The complainant’s husband earlier worked for a prominent Information Technology (IT) services and consulting company. After his retirement, the couple had withdrawn invested funds post-maturity, the official said.
The caller then asked the woman to deposit the money required towards the payment of TDS, GST, and income tax. Believing her, the woman transferred money into the bank accounts as per her instructions from time to time, he said.
”This way, the accused woman duped the couple to the tune of Rs 4.35 crore. The victim was asked to transfer money on several occasions between May and September under various pretexts. But when the caller kept demanding more money, the couple told her that they did not have any more funds,” he said. The caller woman then started threatening that she would inform the I-T department, he said.
After they realized they had been duped, the couple approached the police and lodged a complaint on Tuesday, he said. Based on the complaint, a first information report (FIR) under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 384 (extortion), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and various sections of the I-T Act, including identity theft, was filed. A probe into the case is underway, he said.