Senior citizens fall prey to online fraud

Ignore SMSes & emails promising ‘rewards’,police urge elders

Written by SushantKulkarni | Pune | Published: September 25, 2012 3:15 am

Ignore SMSes & emails promising ‘rewards’,police urge elders

A number of senior citizens have fallen prey to an online fraud after receiving SMSes and emails that declared them ‘winners’ of hefty sums in foreign currency.

In a recent case registered with the Kothrud police,a 65-year-old citizen was duped of Rs 9.8 lakh by three suspects who had contacted him after he responded to an SMS that said he had won £1 million.

In the past,three similar incidents have been reported in the city. “Such SMSs and emails are received by many,but it has been observed that senior citizens are falling prey to this owing to lack of awareness. We urge citizens to ignore such messages. If they are frequently receiving them,the matter should be reported to the police,” said a police officer.

The complainant,a Kothrud resident,received an SMS in July that said he had won £1 million. The SMS gave an email address and the recipient was asked to provide some personal details.

Inspector (cyber crime cell) S M Babar,said,“It looks like a well-planned conspiracy. Three suspects,including a woman,got in touch with the complainant and one of them even met him in person. The complainant has given us the names of the three as they told him. Over a period of time,they urged him to deposit money in various accounts in private banks. He has deposited Rs 9.8 lakh till date.”

The case is being investigated under the supervision of DCP Sanjay Shinde.

Cyber crime officers said the complainant was asked to fly to a location outside the state.

There he was even shown a box containing bundles of foreign currency. Babar added,“They told him that the currency notes have a stamp on each of the bundles and that needs to be erased. They claimed a special liquid is required that was only available at the office of an embassy. They asked him to get Rs 6 lakh for this,as only they were authorised to go to the premises of the embassy.”

The fraud came to light after the the complainant realised that the box he was handed over contained bundles of plain paper.

“We are looking into all the transactions and communication between the suspects and the complainant. All the suspects are aged between 25 and 30,” said Babar.

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