A couple of days ago as I returned from market, guard at gate stopped me as he wanted to ask something. He told me that he had received a sms telling that he had been selected for first prize of Rs 2 lacs. On my query he confirmed that he had not purchased any lottery ticket or sent an entry by post or taken part in any competition. He further added that when he replied to that sms he was asked to deposit Rs 20 thousand in a particular account so his prize can be sent. He replied in negative on my asking if he had deposited that amount. He requested for my advice. I told him not to ever fall for such ruses adding that these are frauds and he would have lost his money had he deposited it.
This took me back by almost ten years. I had received a mail from a very reputed bank that I have been selected for award of Rs 5 lacs for my regular usage of e-mail account. It was really tempting so I replied as to what was to be done by me to receive this amount. I was asked to give my account number with bank name and branch etc. Being little cautious, I gave the information of one of my dormant accounts which had just about Rs 100. I received a reply that the money will be transferred to that account on receipt of Rs 50 thousand as tax on prize money which they have to pay to income tax department. I was given an account number of a private bank. I asked as to why that amount cannot be deducted from Rs 5 lacs and balance sent to my account. I was told that it was not as per their policy and I need to pay first. Now I knew that it was all fraud. I visited the said bank and got name of account holder with his address & telephone number by making a palatable story. I called that number and gave him my piece of mind saying that I am informing the police.
These kind of messages have gone up a lot since then. Not a day goes when I do not receive either a mail or sms about similar awards. I just delete the mails or sms without even bothering to read. Shocking is that names of very reputed organizations are used by such persons.
Now I found another way of fraud by such persons. I was on internet when pop up from a reputed organization url came informing that I can win a prize by answering just a few simple questions. Out of curiosity I clicked on NEXT to be informed that there were 4 cars costing Rs 5 lacs on payment of just Rs 50 thousand as first prize, 6 Smartphones costing Rs 40 odd thousand on payment of Rs 999 as second and similarly more items as third & fourth prizes. I answered the questions. I was then informed that first prizes have all gone and there are just 2 Smartphones left asking if I was keen. On my confirmation, I was asked to give my address where the said phone could be sent and asking me to pay the said amount online. Now I knew that I would be bidding goodbye to my money. I gave my address asking them to courier it on To Pay Basis and received no confirmation. So I just closed the link. I find more such offers at times.
I suggest that be careful of such tricks of depriving you of your money.