Woman books doctor's appointment, loses 1.5 lakh in online scam; know 5 tips to stay safe

In yet another case that highlights the dangers of cyber fraud, a Mumbai woman lost 1.5 lakh in an online scam aftersimply calling a phone number while trying to book a doctor's appointment.

| Updated on: Jul 15 2023, 21:08 IST
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Mumbai woman duped of 1.5 lakh in online scam while trying to book a doctor's appointment. (Pixabay)

In the digital age, online scams have become increasingly common, causing innocent individuals to fall victim to financial losses. A recent incident in Mumbai highlights the dangers of such scams, as a woman lost 1.5 lakh while attempting to book a doctor's appointment.

The woman, who works at a private company in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), needed to make an appointment with a doctor at a hospital in Chembur. Trusting the information she found online, she dialed the listed number for the hospital, unaware that it was posted by a cyber fraudster with malicious intent, according to the Times of India,.

During her call to book the appointment, the woman was skillfully manipulated by the person on the other end, resulting in a significant loss of 1.5 lakh, leaving the woman shocked and deceived.

The police, investigating the matter, revealed that the woman had found the hospital's contact number online, unaware that it was posted by a fraudster. This incident serves as a stark reminder to exercise caution when searching for contact details on the internet, particularly when it involves any sensitive matter involving online payments or other financial transactions. Cybercriminals often take advantage of the internet's anonymity and vastness to perpetrate scams and fraudulent activities.

While authorities work to identify and apprehend the individual responsible for this deceitful act, it is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant and take preventive measures to avoid falling victim to similar scams.

To safeguard oneself from online scams, it is advisable to verify the authenticity of contact information through reliable sources. Verified phone numbers are typically provided by hospitals and medical institutes on their official websites or through trustworthy methods. Exercise caution when sharing personal or financial information over the phone, especially if anything seems suspicious. Always approach unsolicited requests for sensitive details or unexpected financial transactions with skepticism and rebuff these approaches immediately.

In the unfortunate event that you or someone you know experiences a similar incident, it is essential to promptly report it to local authorities. By doing so, you can contribute to preventing others from undergoing the same unfortunate circumstances and perhaps, it will end in the money lost being returned to rightful owners.

5 ways to protect yourself from online scams:

1. If you have a smartphone and use it for payments, then make sure you download the latest update provided by the company. That means you will have the latest security software, web browser, and operating system. These will better fight off viruses, malware, and other malicious threats.

2. Always have very strong password that you do not write down anywhere or share with anyone. The password should have 8 characters including upper and lower case letters, special characters and numbers.

3. Never click on any links sent by strangers. These can be phishing scams, which use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information.

4. Remember that social media is for fun and nothing serious should be shared there, especially usernames and passwords. In fact, cybercriminals often figure out your passwords from your DMs.

5. Never post your own birthday dates, or those of family, friends and colleagues on social media. That too can betray sensitive information that hackers can use to exploit these people.

This recent case in central Mumbai should serve as a reminder to exercise caution while searching for contact information online. Stay vigilant, verify sources, and be wary of suspicious requests. Following these simple steps can protect you from falling prey to cybercriminals and their deceptive tactics.

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First Published Date: 15 Jul, 21:03 IST