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January 5, 2018

Swindlers misusing forces name to obtain bank account details


January 5, 2018

PESHAWAR: A gang of swindlers is out to obtain personal information and bank account details from the people apparently to tamper with their accounts and make illegal transactions. A local journalist told The News he received a phone call from a cellular phone number 0344-7601752 at 3:54pm on Wednesday.

“Introducing himself as subedar of the army, the caller said that major sahib would like to talk to me as he needed some information about my income and details about the bank account,” the journalist recalled.

He said the caller then gave the phone to another person.

“Assalam-o-Alaikum. How are you doing, sir. I am a major and speaking from the headquarters of Pakistan Army,” the caller said.

Speaking in a polite tone, he said: “A census team had visited your house but you did not provide them with your income details and bank account. I need your personal and account details for security reasons and to draw comparison between the income and the assets you have.”

The journalist said the man asked about his name, computerised national identity card (CNIC) number and date of birth. “When he asked about my bank account, I refused to share any details. I told him the bank had asked me at the time of opening of the account not to share any details about my account with anyone,” said the journalist.

“He then asked me to wait for five minutes for a call from the bank and snapped the call. I discounted the call for being a fake one but within a few minutes my cell-phone rang up. When I checked the screen the call was coming from 0111 111 425 similar to the one of the Habib Bank Limited (HBL) banking service and short message alert service 111 111 425,” said the journalist.

“Hello sir, this is manager of the HBL. I am calling you from the bank headquarters in Karachi,” said the caller.

The caller said the bank had received a call from the Pakistan Army and they wanted you to share your account details with them for security reasons.

“When I reminded him that the person who introduced himself as major was calling from a private cellular company phone number and the bank through its SMS alert service had warned me not to share any details with anyone, he got angry and tried to pressure me,” said the journalist.

“You have assisted militants and now you have been exposed. A first information report will be lodged against you for not cooperating with the security forces and I am going to block your account from now on. The fraudster threatened and hung up,” narrated the journalist.

He said when he probed the issue and called the HBL through its banking service 111 111 425 for landline and 021-111 111 425 for calls from mobile phone, a Customer Services Desk official, Muhammad Zubair, clarified that the number was a fake and asked him not to provide any information to the fraudsters.

“He then advised me to get the ATM card blocked temporarily to put an end to the chances of tampering with my account,” he added.

“Later, I called the cell phone number 0344-7601752 from which I had received the call but it couldn’t be reached. The computer generated message in Urdu and English said calls cannot be received at this phone number which is barred,” said the journalist who was angry with the entire episode.

“Whoever they are but one thing is clear that they are defaming the name of the security forces to deceive people. This is a serious matter and should be probed properly,” the journalist demanded.