“Your son will be arrested, pay or else…”, Mumbai professor loses ₹1 lakh to AI scam | Tech News

“Your son will be arrested, pay or else…”, Mumbai professor loses 1 lakh to AI scam

A 58-year-old professor from NMIMS College in Mumbai fell prey to a sophisticated AI-driven scam, resulting in a loss of Rs. 1 lakh.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Apr 06 2024, 16:07 IST
AI
Scammers leverage AI to gather personal details and manipulate victims into financial loss. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In a disturbing event that highlights the growing sophistication of cybercrime, S S Sarkar, a 58-year-old professor at NMIMS College in Mumbai, fell prey to a fraudulent scheme enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI), resulting in a large financial loss. Sarkar became entangled in a web of deception engineered by individuals who were using AI technology for vile reasons.

Fraudulent Call from 'Inspector Vijaykumar'

The incident began when Sarkar, who was working at the institution, received an unexpected call from someone claiming to be 'Inspector Vijaykumar' from the Mumbai police department. The imposter, speaking in an urgent and authoritative tone, brought frightening news: Sarkar's son had allegedly been arrested, and unless she rapidly paid a considerable quantity of money, her son would face imminent arrest and legal action.

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What makes this particular scam particularly clever is the utilisation of AI intelligence to  boost its legitimacy and efficacy. Prior to contacting Sarkar, the fraudster meticulously gathered her personal and familial information from numerous social media sites, boosting the appearance of authenticity and generating a feeling of urgency in the victim. Despite not duplicating her son's voice, the fraudster expertly used the abundance of personal information collected through AI technology to increase the coercive techniques used throughout the extortion.

Police Investigation and Response

As reports of AI-driven fraud continue to rise, cybersecurity experts and law enforcement organisations warn of the growing threat presented by tech-savvy scammers preying on unsuspecting individuals. The Juhu police department's cyber section quickly initiated an inquiry into Sarkar's case, identifying the culprits' innovative method of operation. Collaborating with financial institutions, efforts are underway to trace and block the accounts implicated in the illicit transactions totaling Rs. 1 lakh.

Sarkar's side of the story remains unclear as she  declines to reply to media outlets. In her formal complaint, Sarkar described the traumatic experience of giving in to the false demands, believing that her son's freedom was at stake. Only after the completion of the transactions and subsequent contact with her son did the reality of the scam come to light, putting her into a state of shock and disbelief.

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First Published Date: 06 Apr, 16:07 IST
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