Thursday 27 August 2015

Race Course Dehradun Retired Teacher falls prey to Phone Scam

Written by Anil Singh

A Retired Teacher living in Race Course Dehradun had fallen victim to a Phone call Scam or Telephone Scam.

Finding her susceptible to greed, a group of 11 well educated young men and women from Delhi and adjoining Noida, presented themselves initially as belonging to some Government Insurance Department and later as Income Tax personnel, Police Personnel etc., and duped the lady of Rupees 56 Lakh. There's a greed angle to the incident as the well educated lady, at some stage of this fraud, was promised Rs 76 Lakh in return of Rs 32 Lakh. The fraudsters used every tactic in the book, to make the lady shell out as much money as they can. They even terrorized her for having undisclosed money (black money); so that she could be pushed to make a private settlement with the Income Tax Personnel (the fraudsters who disguised as IT Personnel and raided her house).

The good thing is, two of the fraudsters, the mastermind and one of his accomplices, has been arrested by the Police; and the search to nab other 9 is on.

Phone Call Scam...

The fraud started with a telephone call where the caller introduced herself as belonging to some Government Insurance Department. She managed to get the information about the lady's Insurance policies. Later on, one of the fraudsters called the lady and informed her that the IT Department suspects her & her family of having black money & undisclosed assets; and of an imminent Income Tax raid.

... the rest of the story you can either read from the newspapers or make a guess of on your own.

I've written a detailed article about Phone Scams or Telephone Scams in early 2013. Do read it, if you want to know about Phone Scams.

You are an English language reader, this makes me request you a little more effort. 

Please tell anyone who you think is not that informed enough about such phone scams.

To encourage young men and women reading this article, let I share a real incident -- an incident which tells why it's important to inform others about such phone scams.

Some months ago, I happened to be in a cyber cafe or internet cafe.
While I was surfing the web, I heard a boy addressing the cyber cafe owner as Sir. He was asking the Cyber cafe owner something specific. He was asking -- "Will We get a Prize ('Inam'), if we send Rs 5000 to a Sir?". The Cafe owner asked , "which Sir?". The boy (now his father standing besides him) told the owner about a person who's called them from a specific mobile number (He showed the mobile to the owner), telling them to send Rs 5000 to a certain bank account, so that he can send them a prize. The cafe owner said he had no idea.  
At this point, I gave a proper look to the boy and his father. From the very appearance, they looked very poor. The boy was wearing old and torn half-pants and half sleeved t-shirt, at the peak of Winter.
I intervened.
I asked the father to show me the Mobile Number. I asked them could I make a call to that number. The offer which they readily and happily accepted.
I called the number from the man's mobile. A man answered the call. I asked him why he wants these people to send him the money. He told me about a policy where the "Luck Winners" will get the "Big Prize" only when they send the processing charges. I asked him to send the Prize First. He tried to convince me again of their strict Prize policy. I asked him, from where he's speaking and where the Company is situated. He told me Jamshedpur.
By this time, my patience had run out. I shouted at the man and told him not to deceive people by such fraudulent schemes. I told him, even if he seems to have no conscience; still as someone who calls him a human being; he should have the conscience to spare the poor. I cautioned him, not to call the number again. Else, I will report him to the police. The man disconnected the call.
Now it was the time to teach the father son duo. I told them that all such schemes are fraudulent. Hence don't send even a single paisa to such people. To make the message clear, I told them, if they don't pay attention to my advice, they will lose their hard earned money. I reminded the father : There's no Free Lunch (means -- No One feeds you For Free. You always have to give something in return. In other words, it is impossible to get something for nothing).
The man told his son to delete the fraudster's number immediately.
On a lighter note, when I asked the man what he does for a living, he told me, he's a construction labour from Bihar.
That day, I realized that it's not enough to protect ourselves from such frauds. It's equally important to save those who are really naive and are at the bottom of the social ladder. From that day, wherever I get the opportunity, I try to inform the least privileged in our society about such scams.

As an informed citizen of this country; as a young man or woman of this country; you should do the same. And you will be amazed, how easy it's to proliferate information, without any specific effort.

For instance, once I was waiting for my turn in a queue at some Government Office. Within the campus, some building was being constructed. I told the guy behind me in the queue, to excuse me for a couple of minutes. I reached the site and casually initiated a conversation, and told them about phone scams. Initially they thought I'm wasting their time, but when I shared the details about what constitutes a phone scam, they started hearing me keenly.


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