City anchor: E-fraud victim turns sleuth, groups other victims to fight together

When Rs 1,07,600 was siphoned off from his Bank of Baroda (BoB) account in April 2011, Dr Santosh Jalukar had a choice to make he could either heed the advice of the bank and police to forget about the money or try to track it down on his own. He is one of the e-fraud victims who has been lauded for his investigation by the adjudicating officer hearing his case. State Information Technology Secretary Rajesh Aggarwal, who adjudicated the matter under Information Technology Act, 2000 has ordered the bank to pay Jalukar a compensation of Rs 1,20,000.

Jalukar conducted investigations of his own, even as the bank and the police allegedly refused to co-operate and over the course of two years, found 10 other Bank of Baroda account holders who were victims of a similar fraud.

"When I spoke to the manager of BoB's Mahim branch, he said my money was gone and tracking down the culprit would be a tedious process. I told him that I'm a doctor and if a patient stops breathing, I have to administer artificial respiration to save his life. I have to make an attempt," he said.

On April 26, 2011, Jalukar's wife received a call on her cellphone in which a man posing as a Bank of Baroda representative asked her to message him the one-time password for a net banking account that would shortly be sent to her cellphone. Within hours, the amount had been credited to Bank of Baroda accounts in Mulund and Dombivili.

"When I checked my account, I was shocked to find there was only Rs 46 left," said the 54-year-old Matunga resident, who works at a private pharmaceutical firm. Jalukar registered a complaint at the Mahim police station, but when the officers there allegedly showed little interest in helping to recover his money, he decided to go it alone.

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