A student (name withheld) of Jawaharlal Nehru University has been duped of Rs 3 lakh in an ingenious email scam. He may well be one of several hundreds across the world.
The fraud started with the student receiving an email from an organisation calling itself the Global Watch Institute, inviting him to attend two seminars it was holding — one in New York and the other in Madrid — on the same subject: Racism and Human Rights.
“I got the first email on December 17,” said the student. “The group boasted a mailing address on Lexiton Avenue, New York. As my area of study is related to the subject they claimed they would discuss, I replied saying I was interested.”
Initially, the fraudsters told the student that his entire trip would be sponsored. But gradually, they began seeking funds from him for some expenses like his hotel booking in Madrid and health insurance, claiming these would all be reimbursed once he got to New York.
“I wire-transferred the amount to them,” the student said. But there was no seminar or foreign trip in store for him. “All the documentation sent was fake,” the student said.
“The modus operandi of these fraudsters was authentic to the core,” a police source said. “The documents they sent looked absolutely genuine.”