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Beware of Deceptive Offers: Woman Loses Rs 90,000 in ‘Buy One Thali, Get Another Free’ Scam

In a distressing incident, a 40-year-old woman from Southwest Delhi fell victim to a cunning scam and lost Rs 90,000 to fraudsters operating a deceptive ‘Buy One Thali, Get Another Free’ offer. Savita Sharma, a senior executive in a bank, shared her harrowing experience with the police, detailing how she was enticed by the offer through a relative, only to have her bank account drained. An FIR has been filed at the Cyber Police Station, and investigations are underway to bring the perpetrators to justice.

On November 27, 2022, Sharma visited the recommended website mentioned by her relative to inquire about the deal. Despite receiving no response upon calling the provided number, she received a call back from an individual claiming to represent Sagar Ratna, a popular restaurant chain. The caller directed Sharma to download an application to avail the offer and provided her with a user ID and password to access the app.

Trusting the caller, Sharma proceeded to download the app and entered the provided credentials. To her dismay, as soon as she submitted the information, she lost control of her phone as it was hacked. Moments later, she received a message notifying her that Rs 40,000 had been debited from her account. Within seconds, another message followed, indicating an additional deduction of Rs 50,000.

Alarmed by the loss of Rs 90,000, Sharma promptly blocked her card to prevent further unauthorized transactions. It bewildered her that the money had seemingly transferred from her credit card to her Paytm account and ultimately into the fraudster’s account. She reiterated that she had never shared any of her banking details with the caller, making the situation all the more perplexing.

Determined to seek justice, Sharma filed an FIR on May 2, prompting the Cyber Cell to launch an investigation into the matter. Unfortunately, similar cases of fraud have been reported across several cities, with individuals losing substantial sums ranging from thousands to lakhs of rupees. Cybercrime investigators caution the public against clicking on any links or downloading apps from unknown or unidentified sources, emphasizing the need for heightened vigilance in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Cybercriminals continually devise new techniques to defraud unsuspecting individuals, exploiting their trust and vulnerability. It is crucial for people to exercise caution and refrain from engaging with suspicious links, apps, or unidentified sources. Safeguarding personal and financial information should be a priority, and individuals must remain vigilant while conducting online transactions.

To combat the growing menace of cybercrime, it is essential to foster awareness and educate the public about common scams and preventive measures. Authorities and cybersecurity experts should work collaboratively to develop robust cybersecurity frameworks, implement stricter regulations, and enhance investigative capabilities to bring cybercriminals to justice.

Additionally, individuals must proactively educate themselves about safe online practices, such as avoiding sharing sensitive information, regularly updating passwords, and installing reputable antivirus software. Creating a culture of cybersecurity awareness within communities, educational institutions, and workplaces can significantly reduce the success rate of cybercriminals and protect potential victims from falling prey to scams.

In conclusion, the unfortunate incident of Savita Sharma losing Rs 90,000 in a deceptive ‘Buy One Thali, Get Another Free’ scam highlights the growing threat of cybercrime. This incident serves as a reminder for all individuals to exercise caution while engaging with online offers, links, and applications. By remaining vigilant, adopting robust security measures, and spreading awareness, individuals can protect themselves and others from falling victim to such scams in the digital age.

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