September 29, 2023 9:09 AM

Your Account Has Been Credited… Or Has it? Delhi Jeweller Loses Lakhs To New Scam

The scamsters have not been traced yet.

New Delhi:

The next time you get a message from your bank stating that money has been credited to your account, it may be wise to check the bank’s app or your account statement and see whether the amount is actually there. 

A Delhi jeweller learnt this lesson the hard way after he sent gold chains worth nearly Rs 3 lakh to a scamster after receiving messages on his phone, purportedly from his bank, that the money had been credited to his account. 

Jeweller Naval Kishore Khandelwal runs a five-decade-old shop at at Chandni Chowk’s Kucha Mahajani – Delhi’s biggest gold and silver market. Last week, Mr Khandelwal was on a visit to Ayodhya when a person contacted his shop over the phone and struck a deal for a 15-gm gold chain with his sons.

The person said that he would not be able to visit the shop and asked for Mr Khandelwal’s iinternet-banking details so that he could transfer the money online. After some time, the jeweller received a message that Rs 93,400 had been credited to his bank account and he sent the screenshot to his sons. The gold chain was then sent to an address given by the person.

The next day, the same person called and said he needed a 30-gm gold chain, The same process was followed and Mr Khandelwal received an SMS that Rs 1,95,400 had been deposited into his account. This gold chain was also sent. 

It was only after this that the jeweller happened to check his account statement on the bank’s mobile app and realised that the money had not been deposited. He then checked both the SMSes he had received and realised that while they were in the format that his bank used, they were not actually from the bank. 

“I was busy with a religious function and did not realise a fraud was being committed. I asked my sons to go to the bank and check, and they confirmed that the money had not been deposited. Officials at the bank said they had no responsibility in this,” said Mr Khandelwal. 

His son, Mayank, said they could not check the statement immediately because the bank app related to the account was only installed on his father’s phone. 

While a complaint has been registered, the police have not managed to trace the scamsters so far. 

Many other traders at the market and elsewhere have also fallen prey to the scam. 

Yogesh Singhal, president, the Bullion and Jewellers Association, said, “When I found out about this on Sunday, I sent a message to people in the industry all over India. That’s when several people called me and said the same thing had happened to them.” 

A complaint has also been lodged on the cyber crime portal of the Ministry of Home Affairs, but experts say this kind of fraud does not fall in that category.

“This fraud does not come under cyber law. It is matter of cheating and forgery. Someone has sent a message by forging it, and the bank portal or any web portal has not been used. The case comes under the Indian Penal Code and not the cyber crime law,” said cyber law expert Sajal Dhamija.

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