Unemployed and desperate for money, a villager fell victim to a scammer who claimed he had won the lottery.
A man from India fell prey to a scammer who convinced him to travel all the way to Delhi for a fake check. Local gambling news have recently reported the story of 41-year-old Ratan Kumar Malbisoi, who received a text message saying he had won a great deal of money in “the BBC’s national lottery”.
Indian gambling laws allow lottery games in five of the country’s states, but obviously none of them are run by BBC. However, the man fell for it. Being unemployed and in desperate need of money, he replied to the text message and, over the last two years, had several conversations with the fraudster. The man claims his interlocutor was “always very nice”.
Scam uncovered after two years
The scammer claimed to be the BBC’s chancellor and promised a large sum of money, but first asked Malbisoi to send $191. As the man couldn’t afford to pay up, the two started to negotiate and the price was eventually lowered to a third of the initial ask. That was also too much for the unemployed man, so he asked the “BBC chancellor” to deduct the money from his winnings.
The two kept negotiating over the phone until sometime in November, when the scammer eventually told the Indian man to verify if he had received any checks. Malbisoi then travelled 1,000 miles to the BBC office in Delhi, only to find that there was no check waiting for him.
“I never felt he was trying to cheat me,” Malbisoi confessed. The man was obviously still confused, as he added: “If they don’t want to give me the money, I can’t force them. It’s their money.”