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By Fiona Mehta

 

Scammers are sending WhatsApp messages to users claiming to have won a lottery for Rs 25 lakh, which is a scam to fool people and take their money.

 

In such cyber frauds, fraudsters send WhatsApp messages to unsuspecting victims from unknown numbers, claiming that their mobile number has won a Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) lottery worth Rs. 25 lakhs, and that they must contact someone whose number is provided in the same WhatsApp message in order to claim it. This is also knows as the KBC lottery fraud.

When the victim calls the above-mentioned number to claim the money, the scammer informs him or her that they must first pay a refundable fee for lottery processing, as well as GST and other fees. Once the victim has deposited the money, they begin to demand more money under various pretexts. The con artists insist on interacting exclusively over WhatsApp. They get the victim to deposit money in multiple bank accounts, and the scam continues for weeks or even months, depending on how long they can persuade the victim to deposit money.

After a while, they begin informing the victim that the lottery prize has been increased to Rs. 45 lakhs, then Rs. 75 lakhs, and so on, in order to keep the victim engaged and interested. Finally, when the victim becomes adamant about receiving the money or refuses to pay any more, they stop phoning him or her and delete the WhatsApp numbers used in the fraud.

Recently, a 56-year-old woman from Mumbai fell prey to the Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) lottery fraud in April 2022, losing Rs 1.32 lakh after she received a message stating that she had won a prize money of Rs 25 lakh.

 

Safety Precautions:

  1. Any message informing that you have won a lottery or a prize, is, in all likelihood, a fraud.
  2. A closer look into such messages will show poor drafting, grammatical errors, and other glaring signs that the message is not genuine.
  3. These frauds exploit your greed. You forget to take basis precautions such as discussing with family members, verifying the information through alternate means, etc., as you get blinded by your greed.
  4. In any genuine lottery or prize, the tax component and other charges are cut from the prize money and the winner gets the deducted amount. So ask yourself the question that why you have to pay these charges in advance to get the so-called lottery money. This is because it is a fraud and there is no money that you have won.
  5. In the caller insists on maintaining secrecy, it is a sign that there is something fishy about the whole thing.
  6. Follow the thumb rule: Never transfer funds to unknown persons or entities in anticipation of high returns. This is never going to happen.
  7. If you are defrauded, lodge a complaint in your nearest Police Station describing complete incidence along with the supporting documents.