Monday, March 26, 2012

This Can Happen to You!

This is not a fiction! This is not a Bollywood masala movie!

This is a shocking story of a real life incident that can happen to you, me, and any one else!

Life is full of unexpected incidents. And, these incidents can be categorized into two simple steps.

The Happy ones, and the unhappy ones!

Unfortunately, this is the unhappy one!

You have a job or a business. Whatever it might be, you work hard to feed your loved ones. What if a fine morning you suddenly discover that your hard earned money is no longer there in your bank account? It has been transferred to a fraud's account without any knowledge of yours? Sounds absurd? Yes, that's what I used to think till the day one of my very good family friends became the victim of the same incident... bank fraud!

Dr. Nabendu Sekhar Chatterjee, a respected and renowned scientist (Biochemistry) of Bengal who works in NICED (National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases). He is a member of the Society of Biological Chemists India, since 2001 and an honorary member of The Indian Science Congress Association, since 2003. Dr. Chatterjee has a joint bank account with his wife Mrs. Sarbani Chatterjee, a perfect housewife and a loving mother of two! On 22nd March 2012, Mrs. Chatterjee checked her account details on the internet and was shocked to see that a transaction of Rs.1,03,000 has been made to a person named Sonali Das without their consent.

What the hell is happening?

Who is this Sonali Das?

How did she get the account details and password?

How could anyone steal money from a secured salary account of State Bank of India?

These are the questions Mrs. Sarbani Chatterjee wanted to ask someone after breaking down with tears. Unfortunately, there was no one to answer. After rushing to the SBI (Beliaghata Branch), the only words she had to hear was from a chilled, and ultra cool manager (Mr.Soumya Das) that the SBI cannot do anything about the incident. After requesting repeatedly, the manager asked her to submit a written document of the total incident. Then, he will send it to the higher authorities, and they will take necessary steps (if they feel so)!

In the mean time, the fraud was already withdrawing huge amounts via ATM.

The phone number of Dr. Nabendu Sekhar Chatterjee was blocked all of a sudden. When Mrs. Sarbani Chatterjee called the Vodafone Customer Care, they informed that 'someone' asked them to block it because the SIM card has been stolen. They didn't even care to ask for valid identity proof of the person before blocking the SIM card!

Hey, if you are reading this post, and if I know your cell phone number, I can do the same! Thanks to Vodafone! OK, there's something more. The Vodafone Customer Care Representative also informed that 'someone' has already reissued the same number within a few hours.

Are you a Vodafone subscriber? I can issue another SIM card of your number without any valid identity proof! Amazing huh? Credit goes to Vodafone again!

You get all the details of your internet banking on your cell phone! And, if it has been locked (hooray to Vodafone!!!) then you will never be able to find out that a fraud is accessing your bank account and happily transferring all your money to his account! All you can do is to sit in front of a super chilled bank manager who is not sure what to do, and talk to Vodafone representatives to ask them why did they block and issued another SIM card when the SIM card was always there WITH YOU?

Mrs. Sarbani Chatterjee had to face the same situation and she had no one to trust except the Kolkata Police! She had no clue where to go. She has never been in a situation like this before! She is married in a family that is renowned for producing scholars, scientists, and high ethics.

Mrs. Sarbani Chatterjee went to the Cyber Crime Police Station of Lalbazar (Kolkata Police Headquarter). There, the officers directed her to Alipore Bhawani Bhavan. After reaching the place (starved and stressed), she heard that it is essential to file an FIR in the police station where the incident has happened. She went to the Beliaghata Police Station!

Still no FIR was lodged. She has almost traveled half the city!

After explaining the whole incident again and again to the police officers who didn't have a single idea about the Cyber world, they asked her to go to Lalbazar Cyber Crime Police Station again!!! It was getting night, she had to come back home frustrated.

The next day, she went to Lalbazar! An FIR has been lodged!

She has been informed that it will take time to start the investigation on the case.

Meanwhile, the fraud has already transferred Rs. 80,000 in her/his bank account!

She doesn't have any idea how to get her money back!

Dr.Chatterjee is not in the country at the moment. He is in the US for a crucial research!

Even if the Police officers of Lalbazar manage to catch the culprit, when will she get back the lost amount?

She has no idea!

Please share this post with your friends and relatives so that the higher authorities notice it.


  1. Feeling sad for Dr. Chatterjee and his wife. Not sure about the laws of the country, but the cops can easily arrest the frauds. The couple can file a lawsuit against the bank. I will share this story with my friends Ajesh. God bless you.

  2. Police is not going to do anything unless you have a strong hold. Mr and Mrs Chatterjee should hold their nerves right now and take the right decisions one after another. Ajesh this is a very nice initiative. Please keep us updated!

  3. I was expecting another one of your nerve-wrecking short fictions here! But this is something greater than that. I'm a vodafone subscriber and was planning to leave it for a long time. This post helped me decide...
    As far as I know, this case can be solved by police pretty fast. Err... if they are willing to do so.

  4. Shit! That's quite a big amount. Sue the bank and call the cops. I'm gonna share this with my friends man..

  5. Sarbani, Please read the email my father sent you. Bidisha di

  6. Hacking community is growing up in India.
    Avoid phone banking in particular.
    My US bank account was hacked and money transferred in US itself due to my negligency. We need to be careful of technology as technology is made by erring human beings.


  7. Ask them to use internet banking more carefully from the next time. A bad incident. I will blame the bank because it lacks proper security system.

  8. This is pathetic! Hackers are now targeting respected personas.
    I will share your post ajesh. Cheers

  9. At present everybody knows the advantage of internet banking; you pay anywhere, anytime, at your emergency. In this era of advancement, internet banking is definitely a modern financial weapon. Just as one cannot stop riding cars because road accident can happen anytime, instead the traffic system has to be improved, similarly internet banking system needs to be more secure, both from the viewpoint of bank and cellphone. Let us wait and see what Lalbazar does, accordingly they should act.

  10. Nice post ! :D

    Here's an award for my favorite blogger - Versatile Blogger!

    1. Thanks Ankit! I'm honored and overwhelmed :) Going to post it soon!

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  12. OMG!!!!!! wat a bad newz it is..?? i didn't know the incident. Plz control ur nervous system ranga didi.. as ur sis, i want to suggest u one thing, dat u should contact wid the CB (Crime Branch) immediately. only they can help u out & sort out the matter properly. itz really need to punish the fraud. plz take care of urself & also of jiju.. Bye........ With regards & love LILY.

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