Spoiled Return: Online Grocery Refund Attempt Leads to Bengaluru Woman Losing Rs 77,000

A seemingly simple task turned into a significant financial loss for a Bengaluru resident. According to a Times of India report, a 65-year-old woman from Kasturba Nagar fell victim to cyber fraud after attempting to return spoiled milk purchased through an online grocery delivery service.

The incident occurred on March 18th when the woman discovered that a liter of milk delivered as part of her online grocery order was unusable. Seeking a refund, she contacted a customer service number found through a Google search. Unbeknownst to her, the number connected her to a scammer posing as a customer service representative for the grocery platform.

The perpetrator, pretending to facilitate the refund process, deceived the woman into divulging sensitive financial information. This included a one-time PIN (OTP) sent to her phone for verification purposes. Once the woman provided the OTP, the fraudster gained unauthorized access to her bank account and swiftly transferred Rs 77,000.

Fortunately, the woman realized the scam soon after and promptly reported the incident to the cybercrime helpline. The police have initiated an investigation under the Information Technology Act and are taking steps to freeze the stolen funds in the perpetrator's account.

This incident highlights the growing prevalence of online scams targeting unsuspecting individuals. Cybercriminals often exploit the trust people place in seemingly legitimate customer service channels. The ease of finding fake contact information online further increases the risk of falling prey to such deception.

Experts advise exercising caution when dealing with online customer service. It's crucial to verify contact details through official channels provided by the platform itself, rather than relying on search engine results. Additionally, legitimate customer service representatives will never request sensitive financial information such as OTPs.

Consumers are encouraged to be wary of unsolicited calls or messages promising immediate refunds or troubleshooting assistance. When in doubt, it's always best to directly contact the customer service department through the platform's official website or mobile application.

By following these precautions and remaining vigilant, individuals can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to online scams.

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