MADURAI: As they were investigating yet another e-mail scam in which gullible people were made to pay several lakhs for a fictitious job abroad, the sleuths from Madurai Crime Branch were in for a surprise - the bank account number to which the money was transferred by the victims actually belonged to a beggar in Mumbai.
Explaining the modus operandi, a senior official told Express that the scam often begins with a mail offering jobs abroad.
Those who reply to the mail would get another mail seeking a small amount as processing fee. Once that payment is met, the fraudster would send an offer letter as if from a corporate company in the UK, USA and Australia. The ‘candidate’ has to respond with an acceptance letter, as it is done in actual cases of employment. By this time, the scamsters would have gained the trust of their victims. Then they would ask for a bigger amount of `5 lakh for paper work like visa processing. After that, nothing. “Fraudsters would then close their bank accounts and escape with the money,” said the official.
When they received a complaint about such a case, the team of officials traced the account details given to victims for depositing money. Much to their shock, the account belonged to a beggar from Mumbai, who did not have any inkling on the scam that was being run using his identity.
“We requested the manager of the bank concerned to freeze the account and withdraw the money for the victim,” the official added.
In one such case in March, Babu (35), an MBA graduate from Melur, received a job offer as finance manager of World Senior Solutions in Kolkatta based out of Canada. Attracted by the prospect, he replied with resume. Then, a person who introduced himself as Rohith Singh contacted him over internet call.
After the offer letter was mailed, Singh asked Babu to pay `7.50 lakh for processing his visa. Babu transferred `2.50 lakh from his wife’s account from a nationalised bank at Melur. The trouble, however, did not end there. He showed the offer letter to his friends Prabhakaran, Balaji and Mohammed among others, who too applied and eventually sent money. They grew suspicious after failing to receive any update on the much awaited trip to Canada, and contacted Canadian embassy. That was when they realised this was a con job.