Unidentified fraudsters have been accused of removing government allowance given to poor and helpless people through mobile banking in Babuganj upazila of Barishal district.
Babuganj Police Station received several complaints in this regard.
The local administration has started using a public announcement system to protect stakeholders against fraud.
Abul Kalam Azad, social services manager of Babuganj upazila, said, “We started this awareness campaign. Officials are made aware of the matter. In addition, letters were sent to presidents of parishad unions to raise awareness.
Under the social security program, the government sends money to recipients of allowances for the elderly, widows and the disabled.
For a few days, the money would have been withdrawn by a band of fraudsters. Basically, the benefits are withdrawn by calling them through the mobile phone with their OTP numbers.
Babuganj UNO Aminul Islam said, “Most of the beneficiaries have less ideas about IT. They therefore risk being deceived. Various measures have been taken on behalf of the Upazila administration to prevent beneficiaries from being deceived.
Contextually, the total number of beneficiaries in the upazila is 3,000, including 25 disabled, 122 widows.
However, upazila recipients have raised the issue of investigating how their mobile numbers were leaked to fraudsters.
Alauddin from Kalikapur village at Chandpasha union under the upazila said there was an amount of Tk 6,500 in his account. A person after calling by mobile phone and introducing himself as an official of the social services office asked him to retrieve the OTP number of his account. Since then, his account balance has fallen to zero and no compensation has been deposited.
“I filed a general log about it with the police station,” Alauddin said.
Enayet Sharif from South Rakudia village of the same upazila said he received a call and the caller identifying himself as a social services department official asked for his OTP number to send the disability allowance to the account. When the OTP code number was given, the money in the account disappeared.
Then he registered a general log with Babuganj police station on 23 April.
Babuganj Police Station Officer in Charge, Mahbubur Rahman said, “We receive allegations from stakeholders regarding the withdrawal of stipend money by frauds almost every day. We’re trying to identify the fraudulent gang.