Ordering a pizza proved to be costly for this Bengaluru techie, who ended up losing Rs 95,000 in an online scam.
At around 1.30 pm on December 1, NV Sheik, a resident of Bengaluru’s Koramangala, used food delivery app Zomato on his phone to order himself a pizza. According to the police, even after an hour of waiting, his order had not been delivered following which he looked up the number for the app’s customer care service.
Upon calling the number, he was allegedly informed that the restaurant was not accepting orders and was assured that a refund would be initiated. The fraudster posing as a customer care executive allegedly informed Sheik that he would receive a message on his phone after the call and upon clicking on a link in the message, his refund request would be processed.
The Madiwala Police, who are investigating the case, say that once Sheikh clicked on the link, he became a victim of a phishing expedition and the fraudsters were able to access his bank account details.
Within minutes, Rs 45,000 had been deducted from one of his bank accounts and before he could transfer the remaining amount to a different account, another Rs 50,000 had been deducted.
Sheik approached the Madiwala police station in the city and filed a complaint with them, following which further investigations are currently underway. He had reportedly been saving the money to pay for the expenses of his mother’s cancer treatment.
Zomato does not have a customer care number. Speaking to TNM, a Zomato spokesperson said that the company does not have a calling service for customer care.
"We constantly remind our users via different channels of communication that we do not have a customer care number. Chat and email are our primary channels of care. While we take every effort to ensure customer safety and security, we also urge our esteemed customers to be vigilant and not share their personal or bank account details with anyone."
Though it is true that when an order is delayed or faces issues on Zomato, one has to go to help section and chat with customer care, a random Google search does throw up a lot of fraudulent numbers.
Of late, a number of cases of cyber crime have been reported. Earlier in November, a man from Bengaluru had alleged that he had lost around Rs 85,000 from his bank account via a UPI pay scam operation. Police have also warned that skimming machines have been kept in certain ATM kiosks through which culprits take money out of the account of unsuspecting individuals.
Police officials have requested individuals not to share their personal details and to be cautious when using digital forms of payment.