Con man robs NRI with fake sob story

Published: 08 May, 2009 08:02 IST | Kranti Vibhute |

Posing as a distraught relative of a patient in the ICU, he cheats 2 others of their money in a Bandra hospital

Posing as a distraught relative of a patient in the ICU, he cheats 2 others of their money in a Bandra hospital

A con man recently left two good Samaritans with little will to help strangers in need ever again. On Wednesday, Girish, an NRI from Dubai, came to visit his father who was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit at Holy Family Hospital in Bandra. While he was in the waiting room, a stranger narrated his plight about not having enough money for treating his brother admitted in the same ICU. Girish gave him Rs 1,800 while another man in the room parted with Rs 4,000.

DUPED: The con man struck when the victims were emotionally distraught. PIC/NARENDRA DANGIYA

It was only later that the two realised they had been duped.

Help me

The incident has left Girish shaken. "I will never talk to or believe any stranger after this," he said. Girish was in the ICU waiting room when the stranger told him that his elder brother, who owns a restaurant next to Lucky restaurant in Bandra, was in the ICU. He claimed to have spent over Rs 70,000 on the treatment, but there had been no improvement in his brother's condition.

Girish recalled, "When I came back from visiting my father at 11.30 am, the man asked me for Rs 3,000. He said he needed the money to buy medicines for his brother. He had a bill for it in his hand, which I regret not checking."

The con man also promised Girish that his younger brother was on his way with the money and he would return it immediately.

"Fortunately, I had only Rs 1,800 in my wallet. He wanted Rs 1,200 more and asked me to withdraw it from the ATM. I explained that my ATM cards don't work in Indian machines. I never had any reason to be suspicious of him," explained Girish.

First signs

When the man did not return with the money, Girish began to have doubts. He also came to know that another man in the waiting room had coughed up Rs 4,000. The two then went to the ICU to check on the con man's brother only to be told that there was no such patient. They even went to the restaurant and found that the real owner was hale and hearty.

Not their fault

Girish holds no grudge against the hospital. "I don't have any complaint about the security of the hospital," he said. "When I left my laptop behind recently, the hospital security staff retrieved it for me. I just want to alert the public and the hospitals about such con men."

No official from the Holy Family Hospital was available for comment.

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