ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: An Islamabad-based journalist has succumbed to an internet banking fraud and joined the club of victims who usually receive calls from Universal Access Number (UAN) of the bank and claiming that he or they are calling from Pakistan Army and want information about the victims.
The victim has submitted an application to his respective bank; requesting for probe into internet scam and retrieval of his hard earned money.
He has also appealed to the Chief of Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa to look into the affair as criminals are using the name of Pakistan army and it could be a campaign to defame this prime institution of the country instead of mere getting financial gains.
Application states as under:
My name is (name is withheld), a resident of an Islamabad’s suburb area. I am the News Editor in a news agency and a journalist by profession.
I am one of the account holders of (name of bank is withheld) for almost seven years with account number (withheld) at (branch name is withheld).
Considering your authoritative and well responsible position, it is to be brought into your kind notice that unfortunately I suffered an internet scam on Saturday afternoon (April 28, 2018) which caused me the loss of over Rs 43,000.
At 3:31 pm on Saturday, I received a call from (number withheld ) on my cell phone (number with held), and as I began talking to the caller, he introduced himself to me as an official of Pakistan Army and told me that he wanted certain banking verifications from me.
He also reminded me of some recent ATM Frauds in Karachi and Sargodha, and told me that Pakistan army in collaboration with various banks had launched a campaign across the Country to ensure that banking consumers remained secure.
Upon certain reservations I raised, the caller (allegedly) converted the call to a (suspicious) major-ranked person. The second person also repeated the same narrative and assured me that everything was fine and being carried out from Pakistan army’s platform.
In the meantime, they also asked me to tell them some information including my bank name, NIC no and Debit Card no etc (which I complied). In a bid to build my complete trust on them, they also told me that I would soon receive a call from the bank – wherein I have an account. Subsequently I received another call from UAN number of Bank (number withheld), upon picking up the call, I was told that he was speaking from Karachi as (name of bank withheld) representative and asked me to act upon what alleged army men told me to follow.
Simultaneously, I also received multiple messages (SMSs) on my second cell phone number from (number withheld) as well as emails from (detail of email withheld) on my Gmail account and (alleged army man) asked me to tell him the passwords/code including the pin code which I received via SMS and emails. Though a number of queries I raised but after being deceived by linked deceptive calls, SMS & emails, I was forced to believe them and disclose the information. The caller wanted me to unveil more info to him but I resisted and dropped the calls. However by the time, I reached my nearby ATM Machine to change my pin code, I had lost all the money from my account.
Soon after the incident, I lodged a complaint with (name of bank withheld), and made my all banking channels blocked.
Though I reserve the right to utilize my media fraternity or file a formal complaint against (name of bank withheld) as its fragile and insecure banking system let it happen but being a responsible and committed (name of bank withheld) customer, I am firstly taking the issue with your august office.
Hopefully my bank (name of bank withheld) will assist me and retrieve my lost money as soon as possible.
(Name and details withheld)
The victim is of the view that criminals are using the name of Pakistan army to deceive people and it should be a moral responsibility of prime institute to investigate who are behind this campaign of defaming and using the name of this institution to make innocent people fool.
While talking to DND news agency, the victim stated that he has already sent a formal request to the Chief Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to intervene in this grave issue. He stated that internet banking frauds are normal in the world but the grave concern is that criminals are using the name of prime institution of the country and they are still at large.
It may be mentioned that Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan armed forces as already warned people about this fraud in past but innocent people get harass when they receive a fraudulent and dubious call using the name of this prime institution.