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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: A girl in the smart city of Bhubaneswar, who happens to be a software engineer, was allegedly duped of money to the tune of Rs 1 lakh while recharging her satellite TV's Direct To Home (DTH) service through an e-commerce payment system.

As per reports, the girl named Soumya Rout tried to make a payment of Rs 280 to recharge her Airtel DTH set top box through Paytm wallet on 14 December. Though Rs 250 was debited from her bank account and she received a cashback of Rs 20, her DTH account was not recharged immediately. After contacting Airtel, the customer care executive told that they did not receive any recharge and she should wait for some more time to reflect the transaction in her DTH account.

After waiting for 24 hours, Rout decided to contact Paytm customer service to enquire about the transaction. Her father googled Paytm customer care and dialed a number that was later proved to be fake number. It even showed 'Google Pay (Ajay Kumar)' on True Caller app on her mobile.

Upon calling Ajay Kumar, he pacified and instructed her to follow some steps on GooglePay app that reportedly led to the deduction of Rs 99,106 from Rout's HDFC bank account linked to GooglePay, in two back to back Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions. Her bank statement revealed that the entire amount was credited to a Paytm account bearing a/c number 918004294209.

As per her FIR at the Cyber Police station, following the deduction of money, Rout called the bank and blocked her account, but it was too late and the damage was already done. She rushed to the police station and filed an FIR in this connection.

However, she finally managed to get the actual Paytm customer service number and upon calling them they revealed that the entire money has already been siphoned off by the beneficiary and they can only reveal the name of the beneficiary after getting a formal request from police.

Speaking to the media, the complainant's father, Bairagi Charan Rout alleged that no action has been taken either by police or by Paytm to recover the amount allegedly duped by a fraudster.

It is relevant to mention here that, as a Payments Bank, Paytm cannot accept customer deposits of more than Rs 1 lakh per customer in a savings or current account. However, it can offer other banking services like debit cards, online banking and mobile banking.

Payments Banks cannot offer financial products of their own, but partner with other banks.

Notably, the Commissionerate Police recently released a video and cautioned people to remain alert as the cyber fraudsters of Jamtara in Jharkhand are engaging unemployed engineers to commit various online frauds as part of their phishing scam.

The cops had warned people to stay away from callers who identify themselves as bank officials and seek personal information with regard to their ATM/ Credit cards or bank account details.

(Edited By Ramakanta Biswas)

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