Mumbai

Now, conmen use KBC to trick people

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who is host for 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', gestures on the set of the show's 8th season in Mumbai on September 20, 2014. The Kaun Banega Crorepati game show is the Indian version of the popular Who Wants to Be a Millionaire franchise.

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, who is host for 'Kaun Banega Crorepati', gestures on the set of the show's 8th season in Mumbai on September 20, 2014. The Kaun Banega Crorepati game show is the Indian version of the popular Who Wants to Be a Millionaire franchise.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The trend of con jobs in the name of popular television game shows continues, with the latest attempt being made in the name of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC).

The popular show, which is hosted by Amitabh Bachchan and airs on Sony TV, also has an online lottery in which viewers can participate and win cash prizes.

On Tuesday morning, Mumbai resident Gayatri Pisekar received a WhatsApp message from an unknown number, which included the KBC logo, a picture of Mr. Bachchan, and a voice message. Ms. Pisekar played the message, which had the recording of a man saying in Hindi that she had won ₹35 lakh, and that she should make a WhatsApp call to the number of the ‘head office’ mentioned in the message.

Ms. Pisekar tweeted screenshots of the message to the Mumbai Police’s Twitter handle, and the police advised her to lodge a formal complaint at her nearest police station. Another Twitter user later replied to the thread that he had received a similar message some months ago.

Ms. Pisekar told The Hindu that she has not filed a complaint.

Cyber Crime officials said they are trying to trace those behind such con jobs. “People file a formal complaint only when they are actually duped of money. If they share the information with us, we can use it in our inquiries,” Balsing Rajput, Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Cyber Police, said.

Mr. Rajput said it is suspected that history-sheeters involved in phishing calls, where they would pose as bank representatives and trick people into revealing sensitive details, might have turned to a new modus operandi by capitalising on the popularity of game shows and the lotteries offered by them. “We are checking the current movements of such history-sheeters, in collaboration with the police commissionerates of the cities where they are known to operate,” Mr. Rajput said.

Last week, around five people were cheated into paying processing fees for a lottery from Sabse Smart Kaun, another popular TV show. Star India has submitted an application to the N.M. Joshi Marg police regarding the matter.

There was no response from Sony India to the queries sent by The Hindu.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 11:21:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/now-conmen-use-kbc-to-trick-people/article24693459.ece

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