A 53-year-old diamond merchant from Bandra lost Rs4.5 lakh after a man and woman posed as employees of a life insurance company and made him deposit the annual instalment of his policy in their account.
According to a police source, the merchant had an account in a private bank and through them he came in touch with the insurance company last year. He applied for a policy, under which he had to pay Rs5 lakh annually for five years. In 2016, he paid the first instalment through the bank.
But this year, he refused to pay through the bank, saying he did not like its service, according to the police. In March, he started receiving phone calls from the insurance company, reminding him to pay the yearly instalment, the police said. One of the callers told him that he need not pay through the bank and that he can send the amount directly to them. He gave two numbers to the merchant. According to the merchant, the man told him that April 12 was the deadline and that defaulting on the instalment would be a violation of the policy.
The victim then telephoned one of the numbers, where a woman said she was an employee of the insurance company. She told the merchant to pay Rs4.5 lakh, instead of Rs5 lakh. According to the police, she told the merchant there was a 10% discount as the money was being paid to them directly. She gave him a bank account number. The victim deposited the money before the deadline. He then called the woman who confirmed that she received the money.
However, on April 11 the merchant received a text message from the insurance company saying that it was going to debit the instalment from his account, the police said. The merchant telephoned their helpline number and got to know that they never called him over his yearly instalment. The two fraudsters knew the details of the merchant’s policy and that he was not paying his yearly instalment through the bank, police said.
An FIR was registered under relevant sections of the IPC and the IT Act.