Cops file case after year-long probe into fake lottery racket

 In 2012, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirti Azad had complained to Delhi Police about several text messages received on his mobile phones in which it was claimed that he had won lotteries worth over a million US dollars.

A case has been filed with crime branch after a year-long probe revealed that the mobile numbers from which the text messages had been sent were obtained on fake IDs, police said on Thursday.

In his complaint to Tilak Marg police station in October, 2012, Azad claimed that he had been receiving text messages on two of his mobile phones since April, 2012. One of the texts sent on April 2, 2012, claimed that his mobile number had won 7,50,000 US dollars in the 2012 BT Mobile Draw. To claim the prize, Azad was asked to send his name, age and address to e-mail ‘btuk98!live.com’.

Another text message was received on September 12, 2012, claiming that Azad’s mobile number had won 850,000 US dollars in Nokia Lumia 800 Mobile Promo UK. To claim the prize, he was asked to send his details to ‘win.file@live.com’. “The text messages were being sent from at least seven mobile numbers,” a source said. Azad believed that the text messages were being sent to cheat him by members of a fake lottery racket.

“An enquiry was made into the matter and it was found that the mobile numbers from which the text messages were sent to the complainant were obtained on fake IDs. Further probe is on,” a police officer said.

A case under the Indian Penal Code has been filed with crime branch police station. Azad has been elected to Parliament on a BJP ticket from Bihar’s Darbhanga district. He is currently serving his second term in the Lok Sabha, and was previously an MLA from Delhi’s Gole Market constituency.

Probe in similar cases in the past have revealed that victims are contacted both through mobile, sms and e-mail claiming that they have won lottery and instructed to send sensitive information to an e-mail account generated by the gang.

At the same time, e-mails advise the victims to keep the matter secret till the lottery amount is received by them. The victim is then notified that releasing the funds would require them to deposit some money to pay for cost of transfer fee, insurance fees, registration and RBI endorsement fees, fees to facilitate government clearance, Income Tax procedures and Customs Duty.

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