Rs 72K gone in 'lucky draw'

Rs 72K gone in 'lucky draw'

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Beware of text messages that proclaim that you have won lucky draws through digital wallet transactions. A software engineer was conned into paying Rs 72,450 as registration fees and taxes for the Rs 12.8-lakh prize money that never came. 

It all started with a simple SMS, supposedly from Paytm, the digital wallet. Smriti Kumar (not her real name) was informed that her phone number linked to the Paytm account had won a “bumper lucky draw” of a car or a cashback of Rs 12.8 lakh. 

Smriti, 23, who works for a reputable multinational at ITPL, Whitefield, was asked to send her identity documents to a WhatsApp number so that the prize claim process could be initiated. She did as told. 

A man rang her soon after, listing all the transactions that she had done on Paytm recently and which helped her win the lucky draw. “All the details were spot-on,” she told DH

The caller then asked Smriti whether she wants the car or the cashback. She replied that she was unmarried and would prefer the cashback. “All the messages looked like they were from Paytm, and carried the company’s logo,” she explained. 

The man then informed Smriti that his managing director, one Raman Kumar, would call her to further process the prize claim. After a short while, a man claiming to be Kumar phoned her. Congratulating her on winning the lucky draw, he asked her to deposit Rs 6,500 as bank processing charges. An unsuspecting Smriti transferred the money by Google Pay. 

But Kumar wasn’t done. He called her again, seeking another Rs 65,950 as GST. He promised that the prize money would be credited to her Paytm account shortly thereafter. Smriti fell for the trap again. She received a confirmation but the cashback never came. 

Suspecting something fishy, she rang up Kumar and demanded the cashback. He asked her to pay more but she refused. He then stopped returning her calls. 

Smriti realised she was duped and lodged a police complaint. A Paytm spokesperson did not respond to phone calls for comment. 

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