6 May 2011

NaBloPoMo 2: Beware of Car Fraudsters in Bangalore & Mysore


Here is an exclusive write-up after I interviewed one of my brave-yet-ego-hurt colleagues

Praveen was traveling in his car (Maruthi 800) from Madras to Mysore on May 3rd & when he reached Electronic city in Bangalore 2 people on a bike stopped him and said that they saw smoke from the bonnet. They said they are working for Vikas Motors an authorized service center for Maruthi nearby in Attebelle, Karnataka and they are on their way to fix another car that was involved in an accident nearby. They asked him to open the Bonnet so that they can inspect what is wrong. They observed for some time and then they asked him to start the car (Praveen did not come out of his car at all). When he started he saw flames out of the engine compartment. He panicked and switched off the car. They immediately put the flame off. They said the alternator had burned out and it is totally unsafe to drive with it. They said they will change it for him if he wanted them to. He of course said yes and one of them went, came back with the part, changed it and test drove the car along with him. All these while they said that Praveen was very lucky that the car never burned up and nothing happened to him. Our guy withdrew the cash from an ATM nearby and paid them Rs. 8000 for the Genuine New Part and 100 bucks for the service. He did not forget to thank them & got back to Mysore.

Meanwhile he also called Vikas from Mandovi service center in Hunsur Road which is where he gives his car for service and the center updated him that the part costs only 4500Rs. That’s when he knew something was wrong. He called back the person (Ashok Patkar) on his number he gave him (9741176410) but the phone was switched off. He also searched for the place where he said he worked but that did not exist anywhere in Attebelle. Well, like a lightning he realized he was cheated. When he reached Mysore, Mandovi informed me that the part cost only Rs. 750. And the new one they put for him was from their previous victim’s car. This is a regular fraud that has been happening in Mysore-Banglore-Madras Stretch. To his luck when he was withdrawing money from the ATM the guy who cheated was standing next to him. Praveen hopes to get his picture from the video footage and provide the same it to the cops.

That’s one helluva of an adventure isn’t it? I have promised to do my bit by assisting him in case the cops refuse to co-operate.





Unknown said...

Dear Writer...
We were surprised to see that this article was written in May 2011.
Even after 3 years... this “Ashok Patkar Fraud” continues...

We were the victims today, near South End Circle in Bangalore.

It was the same name, same smoke, same help and exactly the same dialogues. Of course, a different phone number. (Now, using True Caller App, we know that it belongs to some Sriram Corporate.)

There was another difference in our experience. When we asked how much money the repair cost, he told Rs. 2300. My husband told that he had just Rs. 200 in his pocket. So Ashok told that we could go to the ATM. That's when we told that let us go to the office (that was supposed to be nearby) and discuss this matter. He told us to go ahead to the office and wait and that he would join us after a repair in 15 minutes.

Then we went back to the place where this incident had happened and looked for the part that was replaced and thrown on the road side. We did not find it. Now we know what has happened to it. It may find its place in the next Victim's car!

We called the Hyundai Service and told what happened. They asked us what part was replaced. We dint know the name. So we called this Ashok Patkar to ask the same... 3 times. We still have no response from him! Tomorrow, we are going to Hyundai Service Center to get our car checked as to what part has been replaced and check if the fraudster has created any problems under the hood!
We were tricked, but our instincts saved our pocket!

Incidentally, just 5 minutes before we met this "Smoke Man", we had a” tender-coconut-drinking man” point a huge boulder in front of our car that we avoided and exclaimed "There are still good people around!" : ) Probably, this nice experience created such good mood in us that made us believe that this man who came to the aid of our “smoking car” was indeed a NICE MAN!!!

Rajashree Vinod