Buy 1, get 1 offer: Delhi woman falls prey to ‘Thali free’ deal, loses Rs 90,000 online

Buy 1, get 1 offer: Delhi woman falls prey to ‘Thali free’ deal, loses Rs 90,000 online
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Image Source: ARCHIVE Buy 1, get 1 offer: Delhi woman falls prey to ‘Thali free’ deal, loses Rs 90,000 online

In a bizarre incident, a 40-year-old woman lost Rs 90,000 after downloading a scam app offering “buy one thali, get one free”. The victim, Savita Sharma, filed an FIR at the cyber police station. Explaining the incident, Sharma told police that one of her relatives told her about the offer on Facebook. She works as a senior executive at a bank. She visited the site on November 27, 2022 and made a call to the listed number to inquire about the deal.

He got no answer but got a call and “the caller asked him to get the offer from Sagar Ratna (a popular restaurant chain),” Sharma said in his FIR filed on May 2 this year. “The caller shared a link and asked me to download an app to take advantage of the offer. She also sent the user ID and password to access the application. He told me that if I want to get the offer, I will have to sign up for this app first,” Sharma told PTI.

He added: “I clicked on the link and the app was downloaded. Then I entered the user ID and password. The moment I did, I lost control of my phone. It was hacked and then I got a message that Rs 40,000 was debited from my account.” Sharma said that a few seconds later he received another message that Rs 50,000 had been withdrawn from his account.

“It was very surprising to me that the money went from my credit card to my Paytm account and then went to the scammer’s account. I never shared any of these details with the caller,” Sharma claimed, adding that he immediately blocked his credit card. Although the cyber police are investigating the matter, similar cases of fraud have been reported in other cities where people lost thousands of rupees.

When contacted, a Sagar Ratna representative admitted that he received many such complaints from customers. “We have received many calls where people complained that they were scammed by someone advertising lucrative offers on our restaurant’s behalf. We warned people to be on the lookout for any such lucrative deals as we never make offers to people through Facebook,” the representative said, adding that cyber police in other cities are also looking into the similar matter.

Sharma told PTI that web links of such fraudulent offers are still circulating among people via WhatsApp and if timely action is not taken, many others may fall victim. Police officers said that they are educating commoners not to download any apps or click on any links that come from unknown sources. “Cybercriminals are coming up with new ways to defraud people. People should not click on any links or applications that come from unknown or unidentified sources,” said a cybercrime investigator.

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