Loan discount scam
Representational pic

Even as the dust is just settling on the Mira Road IRS scam, another one may be in the offing after it was revealed how a Malabar Hill resident was cheated of Rs 43 lakh over a year after being lured in with a promise of a Rs 10 lakh loan at five per cent interest rate. The Malabar Hill police has launched a probe and traced the con to New Delhi.

Cops said the victim is one Manish Shah, a 47-year-old industrialist. In August 2014, he received a call from a woman posing as an executive from ‘Prudential Connect Company’, who told Shah that he was eligible for an instant loan of Rs 10 lakh. She added that the loan would be at a 5 per cent interest rate and to avail it, he would have to courier a few documents with a Rs 25,000 demand draft to New Delhi.

Deposit Rs 1 lakh more
Considering it a good deal, Shah followed the instructions and sent the money. But after a few days, he received a call asking him to deposit Rs 1 lakh in an account — as an approval to accept the loan. “Calls kept pouring in at regular intervals asking Shah to deposit more money, and he followed it,” said one officer.

Also Read: Mumbai: Director held for conning bizman with 'double-your-money' claim

While Shah kept depositing the money, he got anxious once the amount crossed Rs 10 lakh. He tried to get his money back, but the callers instead asked him to deposit more to get the sum back.

This continued till March this year, when Shah ultimately contacted the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police, who asked him to register a complaint. “An FIR was registered at Malabar Hill police station in April under relevant sections of the IPC and Section 66 (C), (D) of the IT Act,” said assistant police inspector Suresh Chorat. When mid-day contacted Shah, he refused to comment.

Read Story: Businessman drugged, looted on train; crook demands cash to return IDs

'DD transferred to Delhi'
“When we verified Shah’s complaint, we found that there were 37 transactions. All payments were made through DD and sent through courier. Money was transferred from Shah’s account to 10 bank accounts in New Delhi. We have informed officials of the respective branch to share information of the account holders. We are also analysing call details to trace the caller,” said Bhaskarrao Sawant, senior inspector, Malabar Hill police station. “Right now, all we can say is that the calls came from New Delhi and surrounding areas. The police is now suspecting that it’s a well-planned racket, resembling the IRS scam busted by the Thane Police last week,” he added.