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Boy goes missing after SMS gift trap

A 19-year-old college student of Ranchi has gone missing after his poor parents chided him for investing money in what seems like an SMS scam masterminded in Meerut, UP.

According to victim Aniket Singh’s father, the boy received a text message from an unknown number on April 23, asking him to deposit Rs 3,020 in a scheme. Curious, the student of JN College, Dhurwa, called the number and a woman at the other end promised him a mobile phone handset with SIM if he paid Rs 6,000. Aniket was also promised a monthly remuneration of Rs 3,000 if he sent 100 texts every day from his new phone.

The naïve student deposited the amount in A/c No. 4007006900001135 of Punjab National Bank, as directed by the caller. He was expecting the gadget on April 25, but no parcel arrived.

“My son called the number and this time was asked to deposit another Rs 2,000. As he argued with the woman, my wife overheard their conversation. She scolded him for wasting money,” father Ranvijay Singh, a school bus helper, said.

On April 26, Aniket left home at 11am on the pretext of going to college. He did not return. His parents lodged a missing diary with Dhurwa police the day after.

Dhurwa thana in-charge Ram Avtar confirmed the case.

A source at the police station said they had traced the number to Meerut, while the bank account belonged to one Madhvi, also from the same UP city. “When we dialled the number, a woman picked up and identified herself as Pooja Rajni. When quizzed on the SMS gift promised to Aniket, she quickly hung up,” he said.