Bengaluru: A couple lost Rs 1.3 crore to the notorious Nigerian online lottery scam after the man -a retired agriculture scientist with GKVK, University of Agricultural Sciences here -fell prey to an online quiz in 2014.
He sent large sums of money to claim the alleged Rs 5 crore prizes till his demise in December 2014, and his wife continued to do so till mid-2017. In one of the biggest losses through online lottery scams reported to Bengaluru police, 52-year-old Rohini (name changed) from Allalasandra approached the cyber crime police in the city police commissioner last week.
In her complaint, she said her husband had participated in the online quiz in January 2014.The next day, he received a call from a man claiming to be from Shell Oil company in the UK which had floated the lottery. Ignorant about such scams, the man interacted on phone with the fraudster, who said he would bring the Rs 5-crore prize money personally to Bengaluru via Delhi and asked him to transfer money as fees towards customs procedure, RBI sanction, and other fraudulent heads.
According to police sources, the victim transferred large sums of money to various bank accounts through online transactions as advised by the seamsters till his demise in December 2014. It is believed he drew from his savings, apart from taking loans on his LIC policies and pledging property to claim the ‘’lottery money’. Rohini confirmed that the family lost Rs 1, 30, 04,000 to the scam.
After the scientist’s death, Rohini continued money transfers as a person who identified himself as ‘Howard Jerry’ from Delhi assured that she could claim the amount on her husband’s behalf. He said that the money would be dropped at her home in Allasandra after a final transfer of Rs 6.5 lakh to an account towards an affidavit from the Supreme Court for the lottery claim.
Having spent most of the cash she had, Rohini realized she had been cheated by fraudsters for three and a half years and lost all their hard-earned savings. She approached Bengaluru police on July 11 and the cyber crime wing registered a case under the IT Act and a probe is under way.