A seventy-two-year-old man from Bhadur village in Bihar was duped of Rs 1.5 lakh by a group of men who informed him that his Aircel mobile number had won a prize of Rs 25 lakh. They told him that his number was selected by none other than film star Amitabh Bachchan.
“I was full of joy when they told me I had won the prize money. I was excited about talking to Amitabh Bachchan but one Mittal Mehra, who claimed to the superstar’s secretary, spoke to me saying that I was very lucky to be selected by Mr Bachchan,” said Balmukund Mishra.
Mishra says he was also congratulated by Vikram Singh, claiming to be a GM of Aircel.
Mishra’s trouble began when he was first asked to deposit Rs 15,000 as registration fee for the award. It was followed by another call asking him to deposit Rs 45,000 towards security money.
After he deposited the money, Mishra received another call from a man claiming to be an income tax commissioner. He threatened to raid Mishra’s house claiming that the deposited Rs 60,000 was black money.
“I was stunned and requested him not to raid my house. The man asked me deposit Rs 50,000 to his account to escape the raid. I did as he told me and deposited the amount in two installments,” said Mishra.
Next, Mishra received a call from Vijay Kumar, who claimed to be branch manager of PNB, New Delhi, to verify his account number for depositing the prize money. Kumar, too, asked Mishra to deposit Rs 35,000 to confirm his account details.
“It was at this point that Mishra sensed something was wrong. He grew suspicious because Kumar knew his bank account number,” said Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said.
With no sign of his prize money, an anxious Mishra lodged a police complaint.
Maharaj said that he had directed the Patna superintendent of police to register a case and initiate an inquiry.
According to preliminary investigation, all the money was transferred from Mishra’s PNB account to six different SBI and Bank of Baroda accounts in Odisha.