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Two users conned by Ola driver, lose e-wallet money in fraud

Picture used for representational purpose only
MUMBAI: Two finance professionals lost Rs 14,000 in a fraud involving the app of a cab aggregator and its e-wallet within the space of minutes on Friday morning.

Both live in the same posh residential complex on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) and were conned by the same Ola driver. Ola said it has suspended the driver.

Viraj Prasad, a chartered accountant, had booked an Ola cab from Oberoi Splendor to travel to his office in Prabhadevi. When he called the driver to ask where he had reached, he said he was finding it difficult to locate the destination and asked him to share an OTP sent by Ola by SMS. It was different from the OTP on the app to start a journey. Unsuspectingly, Prasad shared the OTP and his app was soon disabled. Later, he realised he had lost Rs 10,000 from his Ola Money account.

Nitin Mathur, a finance executive with a top TV channel, too, had called an Ola and lost Rs 4,000 from his Ola Money account in a repeat act. Both believe the driver with the help of accomplices may have taken over their Ola apps with the OTP and used their Ola money for shopping.

Prasad has filed a written complaint at the Meghwadi police station. Mathur took Twitter to express his agony.

An Ola spokesperson said: "We constantly engage with customers to educate them about their security and to not share any personal details like login credentials, OTP, etc. with anyone, including those claiming to be representing Ola. We do not seek credentials, OTP and such information from customers."

When someone tries to log in using another person's phone number on a newly downloaded Ola app, the system generated OTP message goes to the user's registered mobile number to stop its misuse. "We have come across several such instances but there is no clarity how the fraud has been committed. The transaction could not have been completed without the OTP," said advocate Prashant Mali, a cyber security expert.

Cab aggregators claim they never share customers' details with drivers. Once customers call drivers, the drivers learn the app users' phone numbers.
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