Woman gets scammed of over Rs 5 lakh due to simple Google Search

In addition to fake calls and videos, fraudsters use Google ads to steal money online from people miles away. In the latest case, a woman from Delhi Googled the customer service number of Punjab National Bank and called the mobile number shown on the website. The person on the other end of the line asked him to download an app that helped him steal over Rs 5 lakh from his account.

An official statement from the Deputy Commissioner of Police said that “the alleged person advised her to download the Rust Desk app and obtain information regarding her phone and account. Later, a total amount of Rs 5,45,000 was debited from his Canara Bank account.”

Vasant Kunj resident Rajna Kaul filed the complaint on August 9 last year. The police initiated an investigation by verifying the details of the beneficiary of the transaction in question. DCP further revealed, “After analysis, it was found that fake money was withdrawn from the bank accounts of all the beneficiaries from Deoghar ATM. A total of Rs 15 lakh was found in the said bank accounts and NCRP is investigating the matter. A total of eight complaints were found related to the alleged phone number.

After extensive surveillance, Mustaqeem Ansari (31) and Mohammad Rizwan Ansari (26), residents of Deoghar district in Jharkhand, were arrested. DCP said, “Mustakeem and Rizwan contacted fraudster Mohammad Irfan Ansari and started online scams under the guise of customer care services by running ads on Google. They purchased bank accounts in different states and withdrew fake money from an ATM in Deoghar, Jharkhand.

How to protect yourself from such Google ad fraud?

To protect yourself from such scams, always check your ads for red flags such as grammatical errors and mismatched branding. Before clicking on a URL, check that the actual website address matches the advertised brand. Phishing ads often have slightly different URLs. Also, never download anything from an ad unless you are absolutely sure of its source.

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