News Source: Express Tribune
Writer: Shehzad Akram
GUJRANWALA: A man was deprived of his life’s savings after criminals cleaned out his account in Gujranwala’s Ali Pur Chattha area on Thursday.
Victim Shahbaz Masih, a resident of Kot Hara, told Express News that an unidentified person called him on his cellphone and claimed he was speaking from the head office of a local bank. He added the caller inquired about his bank account details, ATM card number, CNIC and other information.
Shahbaz added that he trusted the caller as he mentioned details of the bank and provided the relevant information to him.
“After some time, I needed money so I went to the bank branch to withdraw cash. However, when I reached there, I was told that my account is empty and that all the money had been withdrawn via the ATM.”
The victim said he immediately lodged a complaint with the bank manager and police officials over the matter, but officials’ concerned did not take any action.
Shahbaz Masih said he worked hard and saved money for his younger brother’s wedding. He appealed to authorities to arrest the culprits and recover the looted amount.
Recently, a number of bank customers from across the country fell prey to fraudulent activity and complained of unauthorised withdrawals from their accounts. This resulted in the blockage of several ATM cards after reports surfaced of wide-scale incidents.
Cybercriminals challenged the technology-driven banking system in Pakistan at a time when the country was looking to increase financial inclusion and bringing more people into the formal sector.
Some time ago, the FIA cybercrime circle had held several Chinese nationals and Pakistani citizens who were found involved in similar cases from Punjab and Sindh.
Pakistan has faced a surge in cybercrime over the past couple of years. To cope with the challenges, the government recently framed cybercrime laws. As such cases became more common, the challenge for the government has increased, said an analyst.