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MP vendor duped with car promise

A snack vendor from Madhya Pradesh, who thought he had won a brand new SUV in a contest and coughed up over a lakh as registration and other charges, was shocked to discover that he had been duped when he came to Jamshedpur to claim the car on Friday.

Manish Jain (26), who sells fast food in Bilaspur and came to the steel city with his elderly mother and niece to take the car from a automobile major’s factory in Telco, had no idea that he had been fleeced by an inter state gang till an auto driver pointed it out to him. Shattered, he rushed to meet city SP Kartik S. only to be told that a complaint could be lodged in his hometown.

According to Jain, he came across an ad-contest in a vernacular daily around Durga Puja, which promised an SUV on giving the right answer.

“In the advertisement, there were photographs of two Bollywood actors. All one had to do is call up on the given cellphone number and say the names. As I recognised the actors, I immediately dialled the number and identified them. The person attending the call asked me to go through the registration process as I had won the SUV. I did so and was asked to deposit Rs 22,000. I was given a bank’s name and account number and I submitted the money,” Jain said.

The fleecing did not stop here. The vendor said after depositing Rs 22,000, he was told to call up another number. When he did so, he was told to deposit a consultation fee of Rs 25,000. Again, he fell for the trap and deposited the sum at the bank.

“This way, I ended up paying up Rs 20,000-Rs 25,000 on three more occasions. A week ago, one of the callers told me to cough up Rs 45,000 for delivery of the SUV and go to the Telco factory to collect the car. But as I had very little money left, I refused to pay. Finally, the deal was struck at Rs 5,000,” Jain added.

He said that the caller had told him to wait at the factory gate, where someone would contact him. “After arriving at Tatanagar railway station, we took an auto to reach the factory. During the course of the travel, I told the auto driver about the reason behind my visit. He told me that I had been duped and advised me to approach police. I didn’t go to the factory and came straight to the SP’s office,” Jain said.

Kartik conceded that Jain had been duped by a gang. “But we cannot file an FIR here as the incident has happened outside,” he added.