BENGALURU: Model, actor and renowned chef Aditya Bal, author of ‘The Chakh Le India - Cookbook’, has become victim of cyber fraud while searching online for B-negative blood for his friend’s mother, who was suffering from Covid.
The accused, claiming to be from a blood bank, asked him to pay Rs 5 as hospital admission charge. In the next two transactions, Bal lost Rs 99,000 via UPI money transfer. He was staying at Prestige Glenwood apartment, off Old Madras Road, near Budigere Cross in Bidarahalli, when the incident happened.
The chef, who spoke to TNIE from Delhi, said he doesn’t exactly know how he lost the money as he did not share any OTP or other details. He suspects the accused could have got access to his UPI window after he clicked on the link to make the initial Rs 5 transfer. He has filed a complaint with CEN police station. “My friend’s aged mother in Kolkata, suffering from Covid, had low haemoglobin level. She was undergoing treatment in the ICU. I was helping as she urgently needed B-negative blood.
I came across details of a reputed blood bank with a Kolkata address and contacted them. I got a call from a person who guaranteed arrangement of blood and asked me to make a payment of Rs 5 as hospital admission charges. As I was travelling, I didn’t go into the details. The caller also claimed that he was calling from a charity organisation,” Bal told TNIE.
The fraudsters had sent a link to make the transfer. After Bal made the initial transfer, the accused withdrew Rs 99,000 from his account. The victim got suspicious after he received another call to make a payment of Rs 9,000. He immediately approached the CEN police.
“The actor claims to have called the bank’s Mumbai branch and got his account blocked. The details of the accused’s account number have been obtained and would be frozen. If the accused has not withdrawn the money, it can be resent to Aditya Bal’s account, following court directions,” said an officer who is part of investigations. The aged woman is said to be recovering and will be discharged from hospital on Wednesday.