Bengaluru

Lottery scam: woman loses Rs. 38 lakh

The police estimate that Bengalureans have lost nearly Rs. 5 crore from January till the end of February this year in lottery scams.— photo: by special arrangement

The police estimate that Bengalureans have lost nearly Rs. 5 crore from January till the end of February this year in lottery scams.— photo: by special arrangement

A 65-year-old woman from the city recently lost Rs. 38 lakh of her retirement money in one of the oldest cyber frauds — the lottery scam — where a person is asked to pay a fee to claim their winnings.

The woman received a text message on her phone in December last informing her that she was the winner of an online lottery floated by a well-known mobile phone company. Not realising that this was a scam, the woman thought she was going to pocket five million pounds, as promised.

According to investigators in the cyber crime wing of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), this kind of online lottery scam accounts for over 20 per cent of all online fraud cases reported in the city this year.

The police estimate citizens in Bengaluru have lost nearly Rs. 5 crore from January till February-end this year in lottery scams.

In the biggest loss suffered by an individual this year to the scam, the elderly woman, who is a former Central government employee in Tippasandra, received the SMS text in December. “She responded to the message and started corresponding with the scamsters via email and mobile phone. She remained mesmerised over the false claim that she had won five million pounds (over Rs. 47 crore) in the overseas lottery,” an investigating officer told The Hindu .

Slowly, she began parting with her savings thinking that she would get the money. She transferred Rs. 38 lakh in 20 instalments to various bank accounts provided by the culprits. They justified the payments by giving her false explanations such as payment for Indian Customs clearance, anti-terrorism certificate and Income Tax authorisation.

She allegedly did not inform her family members about it, as per the advice of the people behind the scam. She sent document proofs on demand, including her PAN, bank account details and voter ID card. By the time she realised that there was no pot of gold, she had lost her life savings, including her provident fund and gratuity money. She lodged a compliant with the cyber crime wing in February.

A probe has traced the phone calls and bank accounts to Delhi and other parts of north India. However, the police are yet to recover the money or identify the perpetrators.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 12:39:18 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/lottery-scam-woman-loses-rs-38-lakh/article8329029.ece