A gang of cyber criminals recently duped a well-known Juhu-based producer of a popular reality show of Rs 10.5 lakh by posing as the British ambassador.
The accused had posted an advertisement on behalf of the British ambassador to India on an online marketing site, in which they put his car – a Jaguar – up for sale for Rs 20 lakh.
Police insiders said the producer had expressed an interest in buying the car, following which a woman contacted him and gave him details of the car.
“The woman told him that the car was owned by the British Ambassador, who had just retired. He was returning to the UK and wanted to sell the car urgently and hence was quoting a lower price,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
The producer told her that he would only make a decision on buying the car after speaking to the actual owners.
“After this, two people posing as David and Tony spoke to the complainant identifying themselves as the owners. The complainant was satisfied and deposited Rs 8 lakh as an advance in a bank account on their instructions,” said another officer from the Juhu police station.
The producer later deposited around Rs 2.5 lakh in two instalments towards insurance fees and international taxes.
The money was deposited in two different accounts of the same bank. The producer sensed something was amiss when he spotted differences in the bank receipts. He ten visited the bank, which confirmed the fraud and further said that the money had been withdrawn from both accounts.
The producer then approached the Juhu police, who registered a case of cheating and impersonation under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.
A probe revealed that the gang had opened multiple accounts in the same bank a month earlier. The calls made to the producer were traced to Navi Mumbai. The police found that daily transactions worth lakhs of rupees were made from the fraudsters’ bank accounts, leading them to believe that the incident was part of a larger racket.