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Cyber Crime Against Senior Citizens: How Brokerage Firm Agent Cheated Elderly Couple Of Rs 3 Crore

MUMBAI: A former employee of a leading brokerage house was arrested for cheating Rs 3.14 crore from an elderly couple in Borivli.

The accused, Naresh Singh (44) moved the couple’s shares from their demat account to another demat account he had set up using the identity of a dead person. Investigators are trying to find out if Singh had help from anyone else.

The 76-year-old man and the 92-year-old woman have a joint demat account with a brokerage house. Investigators think that Singh might have chosen them as his targets because of their age.

In the beginning of this year, Singh asked the brokering house to change the couple’s address and phone number. He changed it to his own cell phone number. He also used the name Chandesh Shah to open a demat account with another trading platform in Delhi. Investigators later found out that Shah had died in 2017 and that Singh had used fake copies of his papers to open an account in his name.

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“A signed and filled out DIS (delivery instruction slip) must be sent to the demat account provider in order to transfer shares. Singh did this and was able to get the couple’s shares in 16 companies, worth Rs 3.14 crore, moved to Shah’s demat account. Then he sold them,” said a senior officer investigating the case.

In May, the brokering house where the couple had a demat account told them in writing that their request to change their address and phone number had been honoured. The couple was shocked because they hadn’t asked for that. On May 10, they filed a report with the Borivli police.

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“While we were looking into the case, we found CCTV footage of Singh handing in fake documents. We also found pictures from a camera of Singh taking money out of an ATM, which he used to pay the fees for transferring shares,” the officer said.

Between 2008 and 2012, Singh worked for a brokerage firm. Police found his old co-workers from that time and questioned them to find out what had happened. On November 16, Singh’s home in Delhi was picked up and he was taken to Mumbai. Police said that he had changed jobs a few times but was out of work because of the pandemic.

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Here are some tips you can give your older parents to keep them safe from cybercrimes:

  • Use a trusted anti-virus and firewall, and make sure to keep them up to date.
  • Never open attachments in emails from people you don’t know.
  • Avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t know. Also, make sure your phone has caller identification apps like True Caller. Scammers usually use Private Caller IDs and strange numbers, and they never leave a message.
  • Don’t tell anyone your bank information. Your bank will never call you and ask for your PIN or OTP. If someone calls and says they’re from a bank and asks for any of these things, you should hang up. Also, if someone seems odd, ask them a lot of questions. Fraudsters don’t like being asked questions and will hang up quickly if they think they might be caught.
  • Never let someone you don’t know use your PC remotely. Your ISP would never call you to tell you that you have a virus that needs to be fixed. If you see strange pop-ups or a blank screen on your computer, disconnect from the internet and turn off your PC right away. It could be an attempt to spread a virus or malware.
  • Carefully think about how you use social media. Don’t share too much personal information on social media, and only add people you know.

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