Last month actor Shabana Azmi had taken to Twitter to inform that she fell prey to an online liquor delivery scam. According to reports, the Maharashtra state police have now cracked the case and identified the imposter who duped the actor. According to the Times of India, an official familiar with the case said the fraudster could be tracked only after the 26 domain experts including IIT graduates hired by the Maharashtra cyber cell, working at the behest of the Uddhav Thackeray government, helped crack the case.
Sanjay Shintre, Superintendent of Maharashtra Cyber Police said, “Accused in the Shabana Azmi online fraud case has been identified. We are tracking his movements and further investigations are on.”
The cyber cell said that the group of domain experts were hired in the month of June after a series of cyberattacks on the state infrastructure from outside the country. Interestingly, in June itself, Shabana Azmi had informed that she became a victim of an online payment scam.
On June 24, the veteran actor Tweeted that she had ordered alcohol online from Living Liquidz, a Mumbai based alcohol delivery platform. However, despite paying the amount upfront, the ordered item was not delivered. “BEWARE I have been cheated by them. #Living Liquidz I paid upfront and when the ordered item didn’t turn up they stopped picking up my calls!”, the actor wrote sharing the details of her monetary transaction with the alcohol delivery portal.
In her subsequent Tweet, the actor clarified that she was actually duped by fraudsters and she didn’t make the payment to the platform.
Azmi had provided details of the phone number and PayTM account where she had sent money. A cursory search for that number in the Truecaller app showed that the number is listed as ‘Liquor Fraud”.
As it is, it seems the phone number has already been flagged by several people for fraud and has been added in Truecaller as ‘liquor fraud’. Had Shabana Azmi just checked the phone number before paying for liquor delivery, she would have been saved from fraud and probably the Maharashtra government would not have to seek the help of 26 experts to find actor Shabana Azmi’s stolen liquor bottles.