Doctor’s phone hacked, ₹2.4 lakh stolen from her bank account

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S. Vijay Kumar CHENNAI 02 August 2021 01:36 IST
Updated: 02 August 2021 03:36 IST

The suspect sent a link for QPay, asked her to update her KYC details via the app

In a novel fraud, ₹2.4 lakh was stolen from a doctor’s account after she provided her KYC details, to keep her SIM active, through an app sent by the suspect.

Not knowing that she was walking into a trap, Dr. Chandini Prabhakar, a dermatologist in Anna Nagar, called what she thought was the customer care number of the mobile phone operator.

She was asked to download the ‘QPay’ app and transfer ₹10 for confirmation of her identity and continuation of SIM card services.


Soon after the money was transferred and receipt issued, Dr. Chandini received SMS messages containing one time password for transfer of ₹1 lakh, ₹90,000 and ₹50,000 within few minutes. “I tried to cut the call but it did not work. The caller seemed to be online and even hacked my phone since he accessed OTP to take away ₹2.4 lakh. I could not make any calls from my phone after that and had to raise a complaint with the State Bank of India from a landline phone,” she said.

Dr. Chandini lodged a complaint in Anna Nagar police station.

The number from which the suspect called appeared to be an internet-enabled voice call.

“It is surprising that ₹10 got transferred into the account of the service provider and then the caller starts accessing my phone. After securing data from the phone, I discarded the SIM.”

The dermatologist said she never shared any identity details, debit card credentials, card verification value (CVV) number and OTP with the suspect.

“It is clear that once I transferred ₹10 via net banking on QPay, the accused took control of my phone even while I was on the call updating him about the payment details,” Dr. Chandini said.

A search on Truecaller app showed one of the numbers to be belonging to “Vi Ekyc Office”.

Helpline for cyber crime

The Ministry of Home Affairs recently launched a Helpline Number 155260 operational 24/7 in eight States, including Tamil Nadu, for reporting cyber crime. The number is operational in all other States between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Police said the personnel at the helpline desk were equipped to stop payments to suspect accounts if the crime is reported within 24 hours.

Victims can access the “Citizen Financial Cyber Frauds Reporting and Management System” by visiting to lodge complaints online for immediate action, sources added.