A 71-year-old woman in Pune has been allegedly tricked into giving away her gold ornaments worth Rs 1.3 lakh by a fraudster who convinced her she had won a lottery on her saree purchase. This followed three other incidents of fraudsters taking away gold ornaments from old women on the pretext of gift sarees or cash.
The latest incident was reported in the Maharashtra Housing Board area of Yerawada on Sunday. The woman was returning home from her morning walk when a man approached her around 9.15 am, said the police. He allegedly told her she had won a lottery on her recent purchase of sarees.
According to the police, the man asked the woman to take off her gold ornaments for weighing them. On the pretext of redeeming the lottery, he went away with the ornaments, said the police.
Earlier, on November 12, a 62-year-old woman, who was on her way to buy vegetables, was tricked by two unidentified men who met her in the Onkar Colony area in Warje Malwadi. On November 5, an 85-year-old woman from Vadgaon Budruk lost gold ornaments worth Rs 1 lakh and on November 6, a 79-year-old woman lost a gold chain worth Rs 25,000 in the Pashan area of Pune.
The Pune police have appealed to the citizens to exercise caution on the backdrop of a rise in such cases. The police are also probing whether the suspects involved in the three crimes are connected.
“This is a very old trick used by fraudsters, especially to cheat elderly persons. The suspects in the previous cases have used various pretexts to trick victims into taking off their gold ornaments or valuables. In some cases, suspects posing as cops said that a crime had taken place and police checking was on. In some cases, suspects used the pretext that a scuffle was going on and asked victims to take off jewellery for safety. The suspects generally ask victims to keep the ornaments in a pouch or bag and then divert their attention in some way before fleeing with the valuables. Suspects generally target elderly persons walking alone, especially in secluded areas. We are conducting a coordinated probe into the recent cases. We are urging citizens to exercise caution in this regard,” said a senior officer from Pune city crime branch.