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Bengaluru Doctor Duped of Rs 95,000 in Army Officer Impersonation Scam



Bengaluru Doctor Duped of Rs 95,000 in Army Officer Impersonation Scam

BENGALURU: In a brazen case of cybercrime, Dr. Jyothi SR, an obstetrician and gynaecologist in Bengaluru, became the victim of a sophisticated online scam that cost her Rs 95,000. The perpetrator, posing as an army officer, convinced Dr. Jyothi to share her digital payment app’s QR code, leading to the illegal siphoning of funds from her account.

The Bait: A Phony Army Officer and Medical Check-ups for 25 Staffers

On January 9th, Dr. Jyothi, while attending to patients at her Guru Sparsha Clinic in T Dasarahalli, received a phone call from an unknown number. The caller, introducing himself as “Sathies Kumar” from the Indian Army, informed her that around 25 female army personnel would be visiting her clinic for medical check-ups. He requested her to conduct the tests and send him the reports.

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Building Trust: Video Calls and Visiting Card Requests

To further legitimize his ruse, Kumar made a video call to Dr. Jyothi, further discussing the tests and procedures. He then requested her visiting card and the clinic’s location via WhatsApp. Jyothi, unsuspecting at this point, shared the details, providing further ammunition for the conman.

The Trap: Advance Payment and the QR Code Scam

Kumar then took the deception to the next level, promising an advance payment for the tests. He convinced Dr. Jyothi to share her UPI QR code, claiming it was necessary to transfer the funds. Trusting his words, Dr. Jyothi shared the code.

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The Bait and Switch: Double Money Deduction and Realization

Following a series of instructions from Kumar, Dr. Jyothi entered Rs 47,500 in her UPI payment slot. Shockingly, the money was instantly debited from her account. Attributing this to a “technical glitch,” Kumar cunningly instructed Dr. Jyothi to repeat the process. Unfazed by the repeated deduction, Dr. Jyothi realized she was being conned.

Quick Action and Police Complaint

Alert and quick-thinking, Dr. Jyothi immediately disconnected the call and contacted the Bagalagunte police before the scammer could exploit her further. The police have registered a case under the Information Technology Act and IPC 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and are currently investigating the matter.

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A Stark Reminder: Vigilance is Key in the Digital Age

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the ever-present threat of cybercrime, even for professionals like doctors. It emphasizes the importance of vigilance, especially when dealing with financial transactions online. Sharing sensitive information like QR codes and entering amounts before confirming the authenticity of the source can have serious financial repercussions.

Dr. Jyothi’s quick action and awareness helped prevent further losses, but her experience highlights the need for increased awareness and education about online scams. As technology advances, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. By remaining vigilant, exercising caution, and verifying information before engaging in online transactions, individuals can protect themselves from falling prey to such deceptive schemes.

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