Cyber thieves conned a 75-year-old retired high court lawyer into believing he had won Rs 4.05 crore from ‘Mukesh Ambani Foundation’, a fictitious entity, and convinced him to hand over Rs18.36 lakh of his life savings as ‘processing fees’. The case was registered by the Kalachowkie police and is being investigated by the cybercrime police.
The police said in November 2015, Jacob Anderson, one of the alleged con men, sent the complainant an email saying he had won Rs 4.05 crores from the bogus foundation, which was “distributing unclaimed British money”.
An officer at Kalachowkie police station said, “The senior citizen replied to the email and asked about the procedure. He was initially told to pay Rs 9,000 as processing fees.”
After this, Anderson allegedly kept in touch with the complainant through associates, who identified themselves as Malegam and Alpana Sharma and asked the lawyer for varying sums of money.
“The victim paid Rs 18.36 lakh in more than 40 transactions, as they kept demanding small amounts from him. Initially they would contact him by email but whenever there was a delay in making a payment, they would telephone him,” said an officer.
The victim, who held a senior position in a nationalised bank after ending his law practice, told the police in his complaint that the accused brainwashed him into paying up.
He may have lost even more if not for a lucky accident. A police officer said, “The complainant’s wife once heard him consulting a friend about the matter and informed their son and daughter about it. They spoke to him and he told them what had happened.”
The complainant is yet to ascertain the exact amount he lost as he is unable to recollect every detail owing to his age. His family pegged the loss at Rs 18.36 lakh based on receipts from his bank. They submitted an application to the police in July 2016, which was converted into a first information report on September 29.