“With multiple investment opportunities available, people try their best to choose wisely and invest their money on a regular basis. You should also invest in shares. If not shares, you should at least consider investment in mutual funds,” said his father to Nikhil.

Nikhil did not focus much on the investing part. He always left the saving part to his wife. He made sure that the monthly expenses are under control and there are some savings.

It was the season of filing documents for income tax rules and everyone is lost in that world. With the help and advice of his wife, Nikhil made his investments long ago and he is not worried unlike his colleagues who try to enroll in some investment at the last minute to avoid excessive income tax deduction.

Nikhil got a call on his mobile phone.

The voice on the phone said, “Good afternoon. Can I talk to Nikhil Arora? We’re calling from New Hope Insurance Company Ltd. This is regarding your policy with us.”

For a moment, he wondered if he missed any payment. His wife helped him with all the payments.

Nikhil immediately used his blue tooth receiver to take the call while messaging his wife. He asked her if he has any policy with New Hope Insurance Company. She reminded him that they had a policy with this company a year ago. They closed the policy.

Nikhil realized that there is something fishy with this call and decided to deal with it appropriately. He started recording the conversation.

Nikhil continued with the call, “Yes. This is Nikhil. I paid my premium for this policy within the stipulated time last month. Why am I getting this call?”

The voice on the other end continued, “Thank you for your payment sir. This is not regarding your payment. This is regarding the option to upgrade your policy. If you upgrade it now, you will get a bonus. You must have noticed that the market is doing pretty well. According to your current policy, only twenty five percent of your investment goes into the market equity funds. If you upgrade your policy now, the percentage of investment in market equity will be increased to sixty percent and you can benefit from the current market gains.”

Nikhil acted very interested and said, “Can you explain me the procedure for upgrading? And, what if the markets crash down. You know they can be very unpredictable. I don’t want to incur losses to such a huge extent.”

Harish, the representative on the phone said, “I understand your concern sir. To avoid any such problems, we have the market risk coverage applied to your policy. According to this feature, you will benefit when the markets do well and you will not be influenced when they underperform.”

Nikhil asked him to explain more about the upgrade procedure. He realized that this call turned out to be too deceiving than he initially expected it to be. So, during the course of the call, he opened the app that tracks the caller and his location. He also sent a message to his friend working in the telephone service provider company requesting him to track the caller.

Harish continued explaining, “All you have to do is share your details with us. We will initiate the request to upgrade your policy. When prompted, you must enter your date of birth and the policy number.”

Nikhil said, “I do not have the policy number with me right now. Can we do that later in another call?”

Harish replied, “I have the account number of your policy. It is 2xxxxx3xxx.:

Nikhil checked the number with the details of his old policy that they closed an year ago. And, it was the same policy. For a moment, he wondered how these crooks got hold of customer database.

Nikhil continued asking questions about upgrading the policy and its short term and long term benefits.

While Harish was busy explaining, Nikhil took his time to do a quick online search of investment-related scams. Many people complained that they were cheated by anonymous callers who claimed to be representatives of one or the other investment company. After promising the customers sudden benefits and multiplication of money in their investments, they ask for the customers to provide a cancelled cheque and a cheque with certain amount in favor of the company. One of their associates would reach the customer’s place and collect the cheques.

And, after a few days, these customers get to know that certain amount of money has been drawn from their accounts with reference to the cheque numbers. The crooks have found some way to tamper with the crossed cheques and enter their details to encash the cheques.

Nikhil asked Harish, “Do I have to pay anything to upgrade it? I, really, am not in a position to make any payment right now?”

Harish replied confidently, “Not necessary sir. You just need to submit a blank cheque along with photocopies of your identity and address proof documents to our associate. If you can let me know a convenient time and your address, I’ll arrange for my associate to visit your place.”

Nikhil replied, “Thank you. Tomorrow seems to be fine for me. But, I have one more question. How does a blank cheque help?”

Harish started explaining, “We have clear instructions from TRAI to accept documents only from the policy holder. There have been some fraudulent transactions. So, to avoid any problem to you or to us, we take crossed cheques along with your identity and address proof, send them for verification along with a request letter from you to upgrade your policy. The documents will be processed then and your policy will be upgraded within fifteen days.”

As Harish was explaining this, Nikhil messaged one of his friends in the crime department and explained him everything fast. Nikhil was glad he had the ability to type faster on his mobile. This has come to be of big help for me. Nikhil also informed his friend in the crime branch that he sought the help of other friend to track the caller.

According to their plan, Nikhil continued with the call for a few more minutes asking more questions.

Nikhil’s friend, Karthik, traced the caller’s location and shared it with Nikhil and the other friend in the crime department, Chetan. However, Nikhil asked Chetan not to act upon the information already.

Nikhil disconnected the call. He asked Chetan to wait until the next day.

Nikhil shared the recording of the entire discussion with Chetan and crime department. He raised a complaint with the cops about Harish and his fraudulent call.

Chetan came to Nikhil’s house the next day an hour before the associate is supposed to come and collect the documents. Meanwhile, Chetan alerted his team in the other city to the place from where the call originated.

When the associate came to collect the documents, Chetan found out that he carried a fake identity card of the New Hope Insurance company.

Chetan waited for the associate to collect the documents and leave the place. Chetan and his team followed this associate until he reached his office where there were multiple people as part of this regular operation.

Chetan and his team arrested the entire team in this city and the other team that was busy calling people from the other team. The crime department thanked Nikhil for helping with find the real culprits who have been cheating unsuspecting and innocent people for a long time.