It may seem like a good idea to look up a phone number using a search engine, but few people realise that doing so may lead them into the hands of dishonest people who have set up a trap.

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Two events that occurred recently demonstrate this.

In the first instance, a man was conned out of Rs 71,000 while he was searching the internet for the telephone number of a medical facility. After discovering that his wife was ill, he dialled the number in order to get some advice.

The victim, Bhagwandin, was given the instruction to transfer ten rupees to a Phonepe account in order to complete the patient registration process and schedule an appointment with an Indiranagar-based physician.

As a result of the victim informing the offender that he is unable to make the payment through the app, the offender then asked the victim to share the bank account number, which the victim subsequently did.

The QuickSupport app needed to be downloaded, and a ten rupee payment had to be made through the app. A short while later, the criminal contacted the victim and asked him to share the OTP that had been sent to his registered mobile number.

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“I was provided with a registration number and instructed to go to the hospital the following morning at ten o’clock in order to speak with a physician there. On the other hand, when I arrived there, I was informed that the hospital did not perform any kind of advance registration and that it only provided consultations to patients when they visited the facility “he said.

When the man went to an ATM to withdraw the money after his wife was admitted to the hospital, he discovered that Rs 71,755 had been taken out of his bank account without his permission.

Chhatrapal Singh, the SHO of the Indiranagar police station, stated that a FIR has been filed and that the assistance of the cyber cell has been requested for the investigation.

In a separate incident, a resident of Aminabad was tricked out of more than Rs 64,000 under the pretence that they were purchasing sweets from a well-known store in the Sadar neighbourhood of Cantonment.

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The victim, Ashok Kumar Bansal, used Google to look up the shop’s mobile phone number, and then he used that information to place an online order for some sweets from the shop. He reported that the individual who took his call had requested information regarding his bank account in order to process the payment.

Bansal explained that he had been a victim of fraud by saying, “I paid Rs 64,110 for the order, but when I reached the shop to take the order, I came to know that the mobile number was fake, and I have been made a victim of fraud.”

Superintendent of Police for the Cyber Cell Triveni Singh stated that when a user downloads this kind of app (Quick Support), they give the app all of the permissions that it needs to function properly.

“Access to all other apps, as well as the gallery and contact lists, is included in the permissions. Criminals can gain remote access to the phone if they are granted this permission. When a person has remote access to an electronic device, that person can see everything that is happening on the device very clearly. This applies to any electronic device that can be remotely accessed “he added.

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While the victim is filling out his name and number and paying the Rs. 10 service charge, the perpetrators of the crime can watch the victim’s pin code, which can then be used to withdraw the money at a later time.

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