A 32-year-old professor lost Rs 1.12 lakh to phishers after he fell for an SMS that said he had won Rs 3.35 crore. The Agripada police, who have registered an FIR, suspect the involvement of a Nigerian gang.
The complainant lives in Bakri Adda in Agripada, and teaches in a college in the central suburbs. In his statement to the police, he said that on February 14, he received an SMS saying he had won a Diwali festival award worth Rs3.35 crore. He was asked to send his personal details to an email id to claim the prize money.
After the complainant mailed his details the next day, he was told an agent from the company, Adam Brodford would arrive in New Delhi from England with a certificate and cheque on February 18, said the police.
“The complainant later received a phone call from a woman who called herself Neha Sharma — a name we have come across in previous fraud cases — who claimed to be an RBI official. She told him his prize money had been deposited in the RBI’s account in New Delhi and he would have to pay Rs 87,720 to get the amount converted into rupees. He deposited a total of Rs1,12,420 in different bank accounts on the pretext of custom clearance charges and other taxes,” said an officer from the Agripada police station.
A few days later, the complainant received another call from the woman, asking him to deposit Rs 7.45 lakh as residential tax charge to claim the prize money, said the police. This made him realise he was being cheated and he approached the Agripada police.
“We are trying to get the details of the bank accounts in which the complainant deposited the money. The accounts were probably opened using fake documents,” said an officer from the Agripada police station.