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Harried mom conned in bank

A woman, who withdrew over Rs 70,000 from a bank counter on Wednesday, was swindled of Rs 25,000 by a man who volunteered to help her count the cash as she was having trouble minding her two-year-old son.

Officers at the sprawling Bistupur branch of Bank of Baroda in Jamshepdur had to call in police who are now hoping to identify the culprit after viewing CCTV footage.

According to sources, Hena Sarobar (32) was with her two-year-old son when she visited the branch around 11am and withdrew Rs 72,000. Sensing that she was finding it difficult to count the cash — most of it was in 500 rupee notes — the man approached her.

He offered to count her cash while she took care of her son. Sarobar agreed. The man — police believe he is in his late 20s — counted the money and claimed that while the amount was indeed Rs 72,000, some of the notes weren’t genuine.

He handed over the bunch, along with the notes he claimed were fakes, to Sarobar and left.

But, Sarobar, who had by then managed to find herself a chair to sit on, realised the bunch of notes in her hand was too thin. She got suspicious and began counting.

She soon realised she was left with Rs 47,000 only. And the man was nowhere to be found.

Sarobar alerted bank officials who called the police. Later, she lodged a complaint with Bistupur police, leading them to register a case of forgery against an unknown person.

Bistupur OC Jitendra Kumar said they were looking for the culprit who was in his late 20s. “We are also looking at CCTV footage to try and identify the man who took away Rs 25,000 from the woman. We need to see if he was a customer, too,” he said.

The OC said the man confused the woman by showing her some currency notes and claiming they were fake. This, he added, may have distracted her and helped him steal some of the money.

The bank’s chief regional manager, K. Panda, said the incident happened as the woman was negligent. Nevertheless, the bank would cooperate with the police. “The customer should not have allowed an unknown person to count her cash. She should have raised an alarm much earlier. But, the woman came to us only after the culprit had left the premises,” he said.

Panda said he was hopeful the CCTV footage would help police catch the man.