2 more fall in email fraudsters' net
Sources : Times News Network
Date of Publishing:1/8/2010
Chennai Man Succumbs To Same Fraud Twice Despite Awareness Drive
Mumbai: The awareness campaign being waged by the police against Nigerian email scams appears to be bearing little fruit. In the recent past, two more people have fallen prey to the growing fraud and responded to emails offering megabucks, but ended up with empty bank accounts.
A senior police officer said that the IP addresses of almost all computers from where these mails originated were traced to Mira Road.
The first case was that of a Chennai-based 42-year-old employee of a private company, who, perhaps in a first, tried regaining money lost in an earlier email scam by responding to new fraudulent mails. In all, the victim exchanged 469 mails with the fraudsters before he realised that he had been duped of lakhs of rupees.
The complaint came to the Mumbai police because the bank accounts in which he deposited the money on different occasions were based here. Calling it a trend, the city police said that in most cases the accounts were opened in a particular leading private bank. "We believe that the KYC norms are not strictly adhered to by this bank," said a police officer.
The Chennai victim's tale of woes began last year when he received a mail from one Micheal Leyden who promised huge sums left behind by someone with no inheritors. Leyden introduced himself as a bank employee and convinced the victim that the transfer of funds was not illegal. Assured, the Chennai resident transferred some money to open an account in UBA Nigeria where, he was told, his fortune would be deposited.
A Mike Imodu entered the drama at this stage and asked the victim to pay an extra 2% VAT for Nigeria or get the money through a diplomat. Soon after, the purported diplomat, David, contacted the victim and got him to deposit Rs 78,000 in a bank account as embassy fee.
Ostensibly on his way to Chennai to hand over the bounty, David told the victim on the phone that he had been detained by airport officials who were demanding a Rs 10 lakh bribe. The victim took a loan on his house and quickly obliged the supposed diplomat.
The Chennai resident then two separate payments of Rs 40,000 and USD 20,000 to David.
The victim, after realising that he had been hoodwinked, then tried his luck at other fraud mails which offered easy money. He lost another Rs 23,000,00 in these scams.
In the second case, a college student, lured by the hope of easy money, convinced her mother to break the Rs 2 lakh fixed deposits saved for her marriage. The victim, who hails from a poor family, realised the fraud only after her cop uncle advised her not to make any further investments. Nigerians plead not to be tarred with the same brush
The involvement of Nigerians in email scams and drug peddling has caused much handwringing among its expat population in Mumbai.
Sitting in a cyber cafe in Mira Road, Bejamime Idjogbe, a 33-year-old resident of Mira Road who hails from Nigeria, rued the disrepute earned by his compatriots.
In his broken English, Idjogbe, who claimed to be a businessman and a researcher, said that over 60% of Nigerians arrive in India to study or do some business, but many along the way turn to defrauding people. "Some of them are into selling drugs too."
After the Moti Nagar incident, Idjogbe said, many of its Nigerian residents have shifted elsewhere, some even to New Delhi. "If you are genuine, getting accommodation is not a problem. The housing societies will not turn you down," he said.
Another Nigerian expat, Sylvestor, agreed with Idjogbe. Sylvestor landed in the city a few months ago to pursue a course in graphics and felt disillusioned with the country. He warned against painting all Nigerians are fraudsters. "India is not a friendly country," he said. TNN NET LOSS Ignore emails that offer no-strings-attached cash in the form of a lottery win or an inheritance At first innocuous, the fraudsters' follow-up emails turn into demands for money They request a commission in return for the bounty and, many a time, cite an inability to open an account in their country
They also request for the victim’s bank account details for the purpose of transferring money
Of late, the fraudsters have been mentioning the RBI in their mails to win victims' trust
The RBI has no role to play in any of these promotional schemes The rise in the number of Nigerian scams has led some city police stations to direct the complaints to the economic offences wing
Shiv Sainik Sanjay Sawant stands before 'Nigerianwadi', the building he raided with his aides to evict loud Nigerians
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