By Hrishikesh Angom
IMPHAL, June 29: With crores of rupees looted from the people of the state through various fraudulent networking schemes in the recent past, the frauds are still around with new tactics to con the ignorant people.
One such new fraudulent method of earning money is the contest. “Guess the face and win prizes” sounds quite exciting and many have participated in the contest. The contest is as simple as it sounds. The advertisement for the said contest was put up in a popular local daily of the state. The contest was just to identify the face of a popular sportsperson which was cut off partly. Nevertheless, the prizes were enormous. One Hero Honda bike was kept as the first prize while a laptop and 1000 gold rings were placed as second and third prizes respectively. No details of the contest were written on the advertisement except for three mobile numbers (07250912873, 07654424429 and 07250929651).
Interestingly, one IFP reporter took part in the contest. He had simply dialed the numbers given in the advertisement and one Hindi speaking guy asked him to guess the face. He had indeed given the right answer (Sachin Tendulkar) and he was informed that the winners would be decided after 10 days by a lucky draw.
Meanwhile, the IFP reporter tried to call the numbers again so as to ascertain whether the contest was genuine or not. But all the numbers remained “switched off”. After that he stopped pursuing the organizers of the contest.
Unexpectedly, nearly after 10 days the IFP reporter who had taken part in the contest received a call from an unknown caller (09801831354) informing that he has won a Hero Honda bike in the contest. The caller was the same Hindi speaking guy who had earlier received the phone call. The guy asked him to give his bank account number so as to transfer a sum of Rs 45,000 as the money value of the prize. He has given his account number as asked but the guy kept a condition that he should first deposit a sum of Rs 2400 as registration fee in the account number 31633593807 of SBI under the name of Sinturaj. Having doubts in the conduct of that guy, he asked him to call back after sometime.
After about an hour another unknown caller (08292915026) called him saying that he has won a laptop which was the second prize in the contest. He made the same condition as the previous caller asking the IFP reporter to deposit a registration fee of Rs 3000 first but he promptly told the caller that if he has won the prize, then why they should demand money from the winner. He disconnected the line asking the caller to call back later.
The previous caller called back the IFP reporter after nearly three hours enquiring whether he had deposited the registration fee or not. He told him he suspected some fraudulent manner in the contest and so he had not deposited the money. The caller insisted him to pay the registration fee so as to claim the money saying that the contest has been sponsored by Tata Motors. When several questions were raised upon him, the caller remained dumbfounded and said “If you don’t want your prize, then it’s fine”. After that he disconnected the phone call.
This is truly a case of fraudulent contest in which young people are lured by the prizes. Many ignorant youths may have fallen prey to this fraudulent contest. The main concern over this is the involvement of local people in such fraudulent contest. The advertisement for the said contest was made in a popular local daily and so many of its esteemed readers may have tried for the contest.
It is high time for the concerned authority to look into such fraudulent contests which would otherwise con the young ignorant people. Moreover, the media organizations should cross-check the credentials of the contest organizers so as to avoid any untoward incident in the future.