Anirbaan Hritiq

In a series of cyber frauds, fraudsters recently duped three Punekars of over Rs 6.5 lakh on the pretext of offering them food 'thalis' (food platter) from prominent food joints. 

According to the Times of India, three residents from Charoli, New Khadki and Queens Garden Road lost a total of Rs 6.87 lakh from their credit cards. 

The incidents took place on August 7, 27 and 29, when they fell prey to the pre-planned traps of fraudsters offering to deliver food thalis from prominent food vendors at their doorsteps.

The first incident took place at New Khadki, where one 44-year-old IT consultant was duped by cybercriminals who promised him to deliver thalis at his residence on August 7. The victim came across an advertisement offering food thalis on social media, where he was instructed to install an application and enter his credit card credential for placing orders. 

As per Inspector Uttam Chakre of Yerawada Police Station, the cyber crook gained access to the mobile number and used the OTP provided by the victim to sweep Rs 3,34,093. The fraudster couldn't extract more money as the transaction limit on the card was exhausted.

In the second case, on August 27, two cyber crooks tricked the wife of a 39-year-old electronic businessman by promising to deliver thalis at her doorsteps. The Queen Garden Road resident was scammed of Rs 1,52, 329 in three installments by the fraudsters. 

In this case also same tactics of luring the victim with online advertisement followed by requesting her to install an application, and entering credit card details for further process of transaction was recorded. 

Inspector Deepali Bhujbal of the Koregaon Police Station said that the victim could have been further exploited by the fraudsters but her card was frozen by the bank due to transaction limit.

In the third case, a 42-year-old resident of Charoli was duped by cyber frauds on the pretext of providing him free thalis on August 29. The victim, working with a private firm, approached the Cyber Cell of Pimpri Chinchwad Police and filed a complaint after losing Rs 2 lakhs. 

This time also similar advertisement method was used to dupe. Inspector Jitendra Kadam of the Dighi PS said, "The complainant was told to transfer Rs 10 just to check if the payment can be made smoothly. This happened nearly four times. When asked for an OTP again, the victim became suspicious and checked only to find that he had already lost Rs 2 lakh."

Meanwhile, police probe into all these cases of cyber frauds are reportedly underway.