Magazine seller swindles city lady

Calcutta, Dec. 7: A retired schoolteacher was swindled out of Rs 45,630 by an elderly man who came to her Calcutta home posing as a magazine salesman and volunteered to write a cheque on her behalf after she fumbled.

The man, who identified himself as Subhajit Sen, wrote the "yearly magazine subscription" amount of Rs 30, on the right side of the box on the cheque and later inserted the number 456 before it, police said. He did the same in the space where the figure had to be spelt out.

Hours after the man left 62-year-old Geeta Kar's Garfa home, her husband received a text message from the bank mentioning that Rs 45,630 had been debited from his account.

"My aunt loves magazines and fell for the offer to get a monthly of international repute for just Rs 30 a year against the actual price of around Rs 270 a month. She wanted to pay the amount in cash but the man insisted on a cheque," said Pappu Kar, Geeta's nephew.

She asked her husband Kanailal Kar, a retired central government employee, to fill in the cheque. "But uncle was going out to buy medicines and he only signed the cheque, asking my aunt to fill in the amount," said Pappu, a contractor.

"Seeing my aunt's hand tremble, the man offered to fill in the cheque on her behalf. We came to know later that the cheque was written in the favour of S. Sen, not any publishing house," Pappu said.

The Kars have submitted a grievance letter to the bank branch and lodged a police complaint. Geeta has identified the man in the CCTV footage of the bank.