Special Correspondent

He deposited cash in different bank accounts of the suspects

CHENNAI: A 30-year-old graduate was relieved of Rs.10 lakh by a gang that cheated him with a huge lottery prize offer. The victim deposited the cash in different bank accounts of the suspects, including a woman, in the last one month in anticipation of the prize money that never came.

According to police sources, G. Sampath (name changed) of Ramavaram received an e-mail last month which stated that he was the lucky winner of the UK National Lottery worth £8 million. It said the money would be transferred to his account provided he furnished his bank account number.

Sampath responded by sending his personal details. Three days later, he received a call from a person who claimed that he was a UK diplomat and had come to Mumbai with the cash consignment. He said the Customs at the international airport was demanding Rs.58,000 as clearance charges. An hour later, a woman claiming to be a Customs official from the airport called and informed that the cash consignment would be sent back if the money was not deposited. Believing her words, Sampath deposited Rs.58,000 in a private bank account referred by the accused.

The next day, he received a mail with an attachment that looked like the cash receipt issued by the Mumbai Customs.

“The letter pad, seal and other information looked original. It was a scanned copy of the receipt. This was followed by many calls from the ‘diplomat’ who demanded money for foreign exchange and other transaction charges to be paid to the UK High Commission in India, Reserve Bank of India and a private bank. I even received an e-mail that appeared to have been sent by the RBI,” Sampath told The Hindu.

In about a month’s time, the victim sent more than Rs.10 lakh. When the lottery prize was not transferred to his account, he preferred a complaint with Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran on Thursday.