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Cyber cons target pensioners, seek cash transfer 

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  Several senior citizens across Bengaluru, who are registered pensioners, have reported receiving calls asking them to pay up for receiving pension amounts in bulk. Retired personnel, who have been receiving pension amounts, have lately been receiving calls from “a woman” claiming to be from “the pension office in Delhi”.In a recent Facebook post, a senior citizen stated that he had received a call from an unknown number wherein a woman speaking in Hindi claimed that his insurance policy had matured, and on confirming by sharing his account details, the pension amount would be credited to his account.  “She identifies herself as an executive of a provident fund office in Delhi. And then she would read out some details of your postal address, retirement year, organisation where you have retired etc, and ask you to confirm,” the post said.

The caller then informs that the pension can be claimed after a NEFT transfer of a certain amount — ranging from Rs 5,000 upwards — is made by the retired person to a bank account given by the woman. The woman reportedly also assures that the amount paid up would be refunded later. Interestingly, although several senior citizens have confirmed receiving such calls, no such case has been registered at any of the eight Cyber Economic Narcotics (CEN) police stations. “We have not seen any such cases in the past one year. This could be a new Modus Operandi (MO),” a cybercrime inspector who did not wish to be named told TNIE. 

What has stumped the officials as well as the senior citizens who have received such calls is that the callers have entire details of the targeted senior citizens’ work history as well as pension details; which means these callers have got their hands on a bulk of computerised data about pensioners recorded in the system. “They know exactly what amount of pension I have been receiving when I retired, and which was the last location I have worked…details which are recorded in the system,” a senior citizen said.

An elderly woman, who has long retired from the revenue service, confirmed: “I too have received such calls. She spoke in Hindi, and I asked her in English since when the Government of India has started asking people for money transfer to avail pension amounts. The line went dead! Beware, it is a hoax!”
Another senior citizen who was discussing the issue on a WhatsApp group after several of them received such fraudulent calls over the last few days, said, “I asked her for authentication, and she disconnected. Then I lodged a complaint with the Vigilance Commissioner through an email. I did not receive any reply, nor did I receive any such calls again.”

Additional Commissioner of Police (West) Soumendu Mukherjee said: “Every day, there will be a new modus operandi and somebody will try to use some pretext or the other. The details of the victim can be retrieved from anywhere … The only solution right now is not to share your CVV, OTP or KYC details with anybody from any financial institution or anyone, for that matter, for any such offers. Always inform your family members or friends when you receive such calls, and if not, with the police for verification.”

CASES REGISTERED AT CENS IN 2020

South     881
East     452
Central      251
North     798

West     993
South East     801
North East      561
Whitefield     1,152

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