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Friday, November 11, 2005

the world is round

The Times of India reported a case of duping of lottery ticket buyers by conmen – the Dahisar police have cracked the case swiftly. It seems the conmen promise cash rewards of up to Rs 3000 to unsuspecting lottery ticket buyers within fifteen minutes of buying the ticket. And, they make off with the commission money! The bait appeared as an innocuous ad in a local Gujarati vernacular paper: it had a mobile number. Whoever wished to earn a quick buck through the Super Lotto was asked to contact the number. Once contacted, the gang would ask the bakra to come over to some crowded place like a restaurant. The gang charged 10% as commission in advance and promised to see the matter through by taking him in a cabbie to the lottery agent. Once the ticket was purchased, they would keep on contacting their network at regular intervals. From the one sided feedback, the victim is assured that with every passing minute, he is getting nearer his goal, his number is getting added to the winning ticket list. When the victim is on cloud nine, the gang members make a carefully planned withdrawal from the scene.

A similar case of duping is reported in a local vernacular paper from Kolkata. Here, the gang targets small time businessmen and, with the promise of obtaining for them lucrative contracts, they decamp with whatever cash they can lay their hands on. It happened thus – a young man from the suburbs became the target. He had a small business selling wooden furniture. The gang approached him and dropped the bait of a large enough contract of all wooden work pertaining to an up and coming building under construction in the posh Salt Lake area. They even took him in a cabbie to the site and showed him around the premises. The young man was impressed. They explained that the total work would be in the region of seven to eight lakhs – and, to bag the contract, a nominal fee of one lakh should not pose any problem. They brainwashed the youth, and had a number of meetings and get-togethers. Whenever they visited the site, other gang members would take over and speak authoritatively as if they had the power to influence the decisions of the owners. Our young friend fell for the trap. He sold off his business, disposed off his bicycle and handed over the money. They fled the scene! The police have, since, nabbed them.

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