PUNE: Within the newest rip-off to have surfaced, cybercrooks are conning unassuming sufferers and their kin looking for on-line appointments with medical doctors affiliated to the Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital (ABMH). Seems the sufferers/family are utilizing Google search providers to search out the contact numbers of ABMH (ABMH medical doctors) solely to return throughout unauthorised numbers listed by the fraudsters. Upon calling these numbers, the sufferers/kin are being cheated of big sums of cash within the identify of confirming the medical doctors’ appointments. Curiously, the scammers appear to be nicely conscious of the names, contact particulars, timing and availability of the medical doctors affiliated to ABMH.
To date, two incidents have come to mild whereby sufferers/family have been cheated of ₹17,500 and ₹55,555, respectively. Within the first such incident reported on April 12, a affected person used Google search providers to e book an internet appointment with a physician at ABMH solely to finish up shedding ₹16,000 and ₹1,500 in two separate transactions.
Within the second incident, a grievance concerning which was filed on Could 19, one Balasaheb Dhakne from Nigdi misplaced ₹55,555 whereas reserving an internet appointment with a physician at ABMH. Dhakne complained to the hospital and the police. He mentioned that whereas searching for ABMH’s contact numbers to e book an appointment, he got here throughout a quantity on a non-ABMH web site being paraded as a ABMH quantity. “Upon calling that number, my call got disconnected and a person called me back from another number to tell me that the hospital would get back to me. Later, I received an SMS from another number. Again, someone called me from a new number and told me to send a ‘hi’ on WhatsApp from my number. He then shared a link with me and asked me to fill in the patient’s details and pay ₹ 10. Upon entering the UPI code, the payment failed. However, on May 14 at 1.48 pm, I got an SMS alert that ₹ 55,555 had been deducted from my account,” Dhakne recalled.
Saurav Chatterjee, senior basic supervisor, ABMH, mentioned, “We have been receiving various such complaints from our patients in writing and on the phone about this fraud for the last few weeks. We have already lodged complaints with the cybercrime cell for necessary action. Further, we have put up a notice in the interest of the public at large on our official website and on our social media platforms to alert our patients to be careful while making any such unauthorised transactions through unidentified telephone numbers.”
In its grievance filed with the cybercrime cell of Wakad police station, ABMH acknowledged that the hospital has realised that fraudsters are displaying unauthorised cell numbers as belonging to ABMH on Google pages and asking sufferers for on-line funds within the identify of confirming medical doctors’ appointments.
In response to Chatterjee, the numbers reported as utilized by the fraudsters for such transactions embody: 9162124966, 9004676782, 9356153321, 07439279713, 8828824128, 08100085894, 07439303221, 078404005321, 08910218730, and 18002086388. He clarified that ABMH doesn’t solicit funds via unidentified phone numbers and all fee transactions are processed via authorised channels solely. Those that suspect they’re being taken for a journey ought to contact the hospital authorities and never fall prey to the rip-off, he mentioned.
Sanjay Tungar, senior police inspector connected to the cybercrime cell of Pimpri-Chinchwad police, who’s investigating the grievance, requested residents to be cautious when availing on-line providers and making on-line funds. “The patients and citizens should crosscheck the credentials of the number, website and links before making any payment. It is better if they contact the official number of the hospital for an appointment. Cybercriminals remain anonymous and one should not trust them to share details like names, numbers or bank details,” he mentioned.
“Do not trust an unknown person whom you have never seen. Never click on an unknown link or install any application,” Tungar warned.
In 2021, an identical phishing rip-off was reported wherein households of sufferers in important care and ICUs at personal hospitals and Sassoon Common Hospital had been focused. A number of sufferers and their family had been conned on the pretext of promoting emergency medicines and injections.