If you have lost money to fraudulent mails that promised a fortune in some foreign land, expect an email from the Mumbai police.
In a bid to identify victims of the infamous Nigerian phishing scam, police will be emailing everyone who was on the contact list of the six Nigerians who were arrested on Sunday in connection with the scam. "We will be contacting these people from the Mumbai police's email account. We will ask them to come forward and register a complaint if they have lost money," said Venkat Patil, senior inspector, crime branch (Unit 7).
The senior inspector said that victims who fall prey to such rackets often don't come forward to register a complaint. "It is embarrassing for some, particularly to those who work at highly-placed positions, to admit that they fell prey to such mails," said inspector Vinayak Vast. Also, those who fall for such rackets know that the chances of the money being recovered is slim and hence see no point in getting a complaint registered, Vast added.
Police admit that recovery is not easy, but with more people registering complaints, it helps build a strong case against the suspects.
Two women who read about Sunday's arrests have already approached the police. In addition, a team from the CBI also approached the police to find out if the same suspects were involved in cheating a Delhi-based businessman of Rs37 lakh.
The police, in the meantime, have had a difficult time getting information out of the six accused, who have been non-cooperative during interrogation. "They are refusing to share passwords to even their mobile phones. If we key in the wrong password, the data could be lost," an officer said. These gadgets will be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory at Kalina for data extraction.
The police suspect that at least 50,000 mails have been sent by the accused to potential victims during the past year promising them millions in cash, if they were willing to pay a 'marginal fee' of anywhere between Rs50,000 to a lakh.