A 23-year-old man, who is a son of a police officer, was allegedly duped to the tune of Rs 6.5 lakh under the pretext of facilitating a loan of $20,000 (approximately Rs 14.2 lakh). Employed with a marketing company, the complainant had a dream of starting his own business and travelling to London and this made him fall prey to the scam.
According to police officials, the incident took place between September 2017 and July 2018, following which Mayur Kadam submitted a complaint application, which was converted into an FIR last week, at the Worli police station.
Kadam is the son of an assistant police sub-inspector attached with the Mumbai Police.
In his statement to police, he said he was surfing on social media when he came across a website on September 4, 2017. They were providing loans at low interest rate. “It was a US-based website and as I was interested I wrote a mail to them, to which one of their representatives, William, replied the next day,” Kadam said to police.
The fraudster asked him to fill up a form and demanded $270 (Rs 19,202) for registration. Initially, the complainant was reluctant but later when he was assured that the loan would be cleared in a month’s time, he transferred the amount.
“Within 24 hours, I received a mail from another person, who posed as a US-based bank manager. He said the website had a tie-up with his bank and that I needed to have an account,” said the complainant to police.
In the first week of October, Kadam mailed them the documents required to open an account, following which he was asked to deposit $3,530 (Rs 2,26,465) into his new account.
“They claimed that he was just depositing money in his own account and he can transfer the amount back to his Mumbai’s bank account as and when he wants. Initially, he just sent $530 (Rs 34,465) and later he took the remaining amount from his mother and transferred the sum. The fraudster then gave him the user id and password of his new account,” said an officer from the Worli police station.
The complainant added that when he had logged into his new bank account on November 2, 2017, he saw that $20,000 was already deposited. “There was an option, where I could request them to transfer the amount to my Mumbai’s bank account. But as soon as I clicked on the link, they asked me for the COT number. I contacted William and asked for the COT number and he demanded $6,529 (Rs 4,20,000),” Kadam said in his statement to police.
He took money from his father saying he wanted to start his own business in the marketing field and sent Rs 4,20,000 through NEFT.
On December 2, the complainant got another mail from William, in which he said he had been hospitalised due to a heart attack and asked him to contact his colleague.
“I mailed his colleague who then informed me about his death following which he stopped responding. I tried contacting the website through other means and then on February 28, I received a mail from his wife saying that William had taken money from several people and assured that she would try to repay the money in a month’s time,” said the complainant to police.
When she too stopped responding, the complainant approached the Worli police station and submitted a complaint application. A case under relevant sections of cheating under IPC and IT act was registered last week. The police said they were trying to obtain the IP addresses of the website and emails ids.