NRI woman loses Rs 1.67 cr in lottery scam

NRI woman loses Rs 1.67 crore; said to be Karnataka’s biggest online fraud

In one of the state’s biggest online frauds, a 60-year-old NRI woman lost Rs 1.67 crore to fraudsters who convinced her that she had won 10 lakh pounds (Rs 9.3 crore) from an online lottery.

They asked her to wire the money, saying she should pay legal notarisation in order to receive the lottery prize money.

On December 21, the victim Ambujakshi Srinivas received a phone call from a man,  identifying himself as Brown, who said he was an agent of a major electronics manufacturer. He said he had come from London and was staying in Delhi.

The man said her mobile number had won the lottery of the company’s promotional raffle draw organised every year to alleviate poverty and that she had won 10 lakh pounds.

Brown asked her to pay Rs 79,900 for legal notarisation to get the prize amount. After transferring the money, she received calls from different people referred by Brown, asking her to pay money as deposits to get the prize. She ended up transferring Rs 1,67,42,400 to various bank accounts.

Also Read: Flower vendor finds Rs 30 cr in zero-balance account

Realising that she had been duped, the woman filed a complaint with the Cyber Crime Division (CCD) of the Criminal Investigation Department. The CCD police have booked the accused under the IT Act and for cheating. They are making efforts to nab the fraudsters.

An official from the CCD said senior citizens are soft targets for the fraudsters, who make hundreds of calls and get lucky with one unsuspecting victim. They send fake RBI receipts to convince the victims. “We examined the call records and found that an African national had called her claiming to be the company agent,” the official said.

They trap the victims in such a way that they cannot disclose the fraud to their spouse and children. This is by far the biggest online fraud. Prior to this, an individual had lost Rs 1.38 crore and another lost Rs 40 lakh.

The victim’s family had lived in Jamaica for two decades. Both her husband and her son are doctors. She had to close a fixed deposit account to transfer the money to the fraudsters.

Be careful, say cops

“If people get a call of this nature, they should first think why would someone give them so much money for free,” the official said. “People should be more careful in future as cyber crimes are on the rise.” 

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