While studying journalism, we were told that every piece of information that becomes crime news is ultimately related to three things, wealth, wine or passion. Behind every crime, you will find one of these elements closely associated with the motive. No wonder criminals also use these methods to dupe people. This week, we will see how a doctor was looted of Rs1.16 crore in a honey-trap, how fraud websites are promising subsidies or prize money in the name of Indian Railways and how job-seekers are being duped through fake work-from-home (WFH) offers.
DoT Does Not Issue NOC for Mobile Towers
There are plenty of warnings and news articles on fraud taking place in the name of mobile towers. Yet, fraudsters continue to circulate messages about earning lakhs of rupees through mobile tower rent and cheat people under the guise of providing a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the proposed mobile tower on their land.
The department of telecommunications (DoT) has, once again, cautioned the public about unscrupulous companies, agencies, or individuals who promise hefty monthly rental payment for installing a mobile tower. It also clarified that neither DoT nor Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is involved in leasing or renting the premises to install mobile towers and does not issue any NOC for the installation of mobile towers.
If you or anyone you know comes across any such fraudulent activity, you can report the incident to local police authorities and DoT.
Here is the contact detail of the local DoT field unit for Maharashtra:
JTO (Compliance) O/o Sr Deputy Director General, DoT Mumbai LSA, 5th Floor, Technical Wing, Saki Vihar Telephone Exch. Bldg., Saki Vihar Road, Andheri(E), Mumbai - 400072
Indian Railways Government Transport Subsidy!
Looks like the fraudsters are also fed up with their fraudulent schemes in the name of 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' or KBC or Mukesh Ambani Jio bonanza. The latest type of fraud is subsidy or prize money on behalf of Indian Railways!
There are certain websites indulging in this kind of fraud. Their scheme is a simple question and answer (Q&A) type game, which will give the participant a chance to get Rs6,000. This scam is being run under the name of 'Indian Railways Government Transport Subsidy!'
It looks good, but there is no such government transport subsidy offered through a lottery Q&A. So, in case you receive any message offering subsidy or prize money from Indian Railways, ignore or immediately delete it without opening any link in the message.
Fake 'Work-from-Home' Job Syndicate
Delhi Police has busted an inter-state gang that used to cheat unemployed youth by offering them fake job profiles for work-from-home (WFH). Two people are arrested in this case following an inter-state operation in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi.
The complainant saw a YouTube video for earning money through the online application "Freelancer Data Corporation based in the UK".
She downloaded the Freelancer app and saw work for bid. On obtaining work after bidding, she started working on an assignment given to her.
An unknown person contacted her on mobile and through email, who asked her to make payment on the pretext of the registration fee, processing fee, international bank transaction charge, and foreign exchange conversion fee to facilitate payment in her bank account to complete work assigned to her.
She transferred around Rs12,000 in various unified payments interface (UPI) IDs and bank accounts. However, soon she realised that she was cheated under the pretext of working from home and filed a complaint on the cybercrime portal of the ministry of home affairs (MHA). (National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal https://cybercrime.gov.in
Doctor Honey-trapped and Robbed of Rs1.16 Crore by Friend!
A doctor from Aland town of Kalaburagi in Karnataka gave Rs60 lakh to one of his friends to secure his son's admission to a reputed medical college in Bengaluru. However, this friend could not secure an admission for the doctor's son. The doctor asked his friend to return his money. Instead of returning the money, the friend set up a honey-trap for the doctor and again looted more money. It appears to be a good story for a movie, but this is a real case.
The Karnataka police have arrested four people, including Nagaraj, the friend of the doctor, and a woman in connection with a honey-trap and extortion of Rs1.16 crore from Dr Shankar Baburao. Nagaraj had called the doctor to Bengaluru to collect his money. However, two women barged into the doctor's room early morning and sat on his bed. Immediately, three people claiming to be police entered the room and charged that the doctor was involved in illegal activity.
They also clicked photos of the doctor with the two women before taking away gold jewellery worth Rs35,000 from him. Under the pretext of helping, Nagaraj demanded Rs70 lakh from the doctor to save him from a police case. When the doctor paid Rs50 lakh, Nagaraj demanded a further Rs20 lakh for securing bail for the two women.
Finally, the doctor gathered some strength and refused to pay any money. When four people threatened him, he asked them to come to the police station, making the strangers run away.
The doctor filed a police complaint. So far, four people have been arrested.
The lesson from this entire episode is do not try to secure admission anywhere illegally or by using money, and a friend in need may not be a friend indeed. So be extra careful, especially while doing money transactions, even with people you think you know.
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