‘Helpline’ personnnel steal ₹ 1 lakh from woman’s account

A woman who wanted to contact the Google customer care for a payment issue, dialed a popular number suggested by an online search engine and lost ₹ 1 lakh.

She was professionally guided to install new applications on her phone, for redress and to ensure smooth payments in future, and her device was virtually in the hands of an unknown person, the police said.

However, police’s immediate measures helped in tracing ₹ 50, 000 of the lost money to a bank branch within the State, and a hold request was made and recovered. But the remaining amounts were sent to several accounts of bank branches outside the State.

Cyber police officers explained that the woman was instructed to install two applications — namely QuickSupport and AnyDesk — and her phone was remotely controlled to access details and make transactions.

Since the aggrieved also believed the helpline to be genuine, she followed instructions to enter certain passcodes which made the IP address and the cyber criminal’s tracing complex.

The case is under investigation.

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