On 10 December 2018, Rafiq Ahmad of Ghoose locality in Kupwara, received a message on his phone telling him that he has won Rs 35 lakh in a lucky draw of lots. He is demanded Rs 16,250 as “tax amount” to get the promised Rs 35 lakh.
Jubilant Ahmad, a 10th class student, shares the “good news” with his father Abdul Majeed Tunch, who gives him Rs 10,000 for transferring them to the account given in the message.
“I was told not to discuss the message with anybody other than my family,” Ahmad says.
When he did not get the promised amount, he again transferred Rs 6250 and shared his account details.
“After few days they sent me a screen shot showing that there was some error while transferring the amount into my account. I foolishly believed,” he says.
Ahmad while sharing the voice messages said “they told me that for the release of Rs 35 lakh I had to deposit Rs 35,000 with income tax department. They were calling me continuously in the day and motivated me to deposit the amount with them.
“To motivate me to transfer further money to them, after few days, they told me that I had actually won Rs 75 lakh and showed me a cheque and a car worth 50 lakh,” he says.
Believing the false promises of the sender of the message, the family ended up transferring a whopping Rs 23 lakh to the fraudster.
Tunch while talking to Greater Kashmir said, “I sold my everything, even my newly constructed house to get the promised Rs 75 lakh and a car worth 50 lakh.”
“I still don’t believe that they have cheated us. They motivated me as if they were my real brothers till I lost everything,” he laments.
“Last month, when they were avoiding my calls and messages, I simply went mad. I took my family for suicide but the relatives and neighbours saved our life assuring that they will help us in getting the amount back,” he says. “I am living in a single room of my old house now with my two handicapped daughters and four sons,” Majeed says adding that they have now approached Kupwara police to look into the matter.