Saswat Singhdeo

Sambalpur: Despite advisories being issued by Odisha Police, people continue to fall prey to several online frauds in the State. In one such incident, a resident of Hirakud area in Sambalpur lost more than Rs 40 lakh in a bid to claim Rs 4 crore prize money.

As per reports, the victim had allegedly received an SMS with a link regarding winning the prize money in popular TV show "Kaun Banega Crorepati"(KBC) a year ago. The matter came to light after the victim lodged an FIR on Tuesday at the Cyber Police Station in the district.

Sources said that the victim, after getting the SMS a year back, had called up the number from which he received the message. The fraudster reportedly asked the victim to deposit some amount towards processing fees to claim the total prize money.

Later, the victim deposited lakhs of rupees in different phases in several bank accounts of the accused. Out of sheer desperation, the victim even sold his land and withdrew money from his Provident Fund account to arrange cash. He continued to pay the amount for a year in the hope of getting Rs 4 crore prize money.

After realising it to be some fraud, the victim filed a complaint at the Cyber Police Station yesterday.

After the complaint was lodged, police seized the deposit slips and launched an investigation. In-charge of Cyber Police Station, Anita Pradhan, said that the accused will be arrested soon.

"The Hirakud resident got a link initially asking him to fill his personal details. Later, he was asked to deposit money in multiple phases towards processing and other fees. This continued for a year and finally after ending in coughing up Rs 40 lakh he lodged a complaint," Pradhan said.