"somehow they managed to deduct the money."
An Indian son was conned out of Rs. 95,000 (£1,020) after ordering a pizza through food delivery company Zomato.
The incident happened on December 1, 2019, in Bengaluru.
The man had saved up the money, which was meant to help pay for his mother’s healthcare.
Nagulmeera Vali Shaik had placed an order for the pizza, paying Rs. 130 (£1.40). However, when the pizza was not delivered after 45 minutes, Mr Shaik requested a refund.
He received an automated response from the customer service number found on the app but was not satisfied.
Mr Shaik decided to look for an alternate number online. He found a number and called them.
Unbeknown to him, the person who answered was a fraudster posing as a Zomato customer services employee.
The person told Mr Shaik that his pizza order had been cancelled and promised a full refund. The scam artist later told Mr Shaik to click the link that was sent to his phone.
Mr Shaik was told to follow the instructions and to fill in the details. He was then told that the refund would process upon completion.
He filled in the details. However, when he checked his bank details just minutes later, he found that Rs. 95,000 had been taken.
It was revealed that it was not just his salary but it was also money to pay for his mother’s hospital bills.
The Indian son informed the police and explained his ordeal:
“Since the amount was deducted from my account and I was not able to track my order, I tried their helpline number which was on the application.
“It was an automated call and I did not get a proper response.
“So I searched for the contact number of customer care service on Google and tried again. It rang once and the call got disconnected.”
When speaking to the unknown person, the Indian son said:
“They asked me to fill the form and give them my UPI ID to which the refund was supposed to be initiated. I was asked to fill my contact number which was linked to the UPI ID as well.
“Within minutes, I started receiving messages that Rs. 45,000 was being deducted from my bank account in three transactions.
“Afraid that I would lose the remaining Rs. 50,000, I transferred this to my other private account.
“To my shock, they were able to siphon off Rs. 50,000 from that account as well.”
“I had not shared the UPI ID of that account but somehow they managed to deduct the money.”
Mr Shaik explained that he had received his salary just a day before and had planned to pay for his mother’s healthcare that week.
A case was registered and the investigation is ongoing.