Pune: Hunt for a bridegroom on a matrimonial website proved quite costly for a 30-year-old woman from Pune.
She was in search of a bridegroom, but got cheated to the tune of Rs 95,000 by a fraudster on a matrimonial website.
The man, who posed as a prospective groom, committed this fraud in a matter of 20 days - between May 31 and June 21 this year.
How it happened?
The fraudster met the victim on an online matrimonial website and told her that he stays abroad. He showed positive interest in the woman.
The duo then shared their profiles with each other and, after a few days, the fraudster started calling up the victim and her parents, on the pretext of marrying the victim.
He thereby established a trust relationship with the victim and her family. Ironically, the family of the woman also approved of the match.
Asking for money
After gaining the lady's trust, the fraudster asked for Rs 25,000 from her for an Overseas Citizen Of India (OCI) registration. The victim did as the fraudster instructed.
He then called up the victim and told her that he has been held at Delhi airport by the Customs Department. He said they were demanding money for his release and asked the woman to pay Rs 70,000 for it.
The woman believed in the fraudster, and thinking that she was helping him, paid the amount after which there was no communication from the man.
Since she was unable to get in touch with him after paying a total of Rs 95,000, she felt something was fishy.
The woman then approached the Vishrambaug police in Pune and lodged a case of cheating.
She told the police that the accused identified himself as Abhiram Manik.
Police Inspector Amrut Marathe is investigating the case.
Tips for safety on Matrimonial sites
Instances of frauds happening on matrimonial sites have been steadily rising. In 2016, around 62 cases of matrimonial frauds were registered with Pune police, which involved fraudsters cheating women of substantial amount of money.
Recently, a 31-year-old software engineer from Pune was duped of Rs 1.6 lakh by a man who had put up a fake profile on matrimonial websites. In another shocking incident, a 28-year-old working woman met her prospective life partner on a matrimonial site. The man was posing as a was the CEO of a US-based company, and their marriage was fixed. The groom asked the girl to pay over Rs 4 lakh to a person who runs a wedding planner management firm. After the woman deposited the money, she found out he had conned her and kept the money for himself instead.
There is a need for taking utmost care and precautions while looking for a life partner on matrimonial sites - Pune police officials have expressed need for spreading awareness about it.
Some simple rules that men and women can follow to avoid getting cheated online - financially or otherwise - are:
1. Always verify the financial credentials of the person instead of believing what they are saying.
2. Do not disclose personal information too soon. Fraudsters use this info for their benefit.
3. Insist on meeting physically first, before accepting a proposal for marriage.
4. Never agree to deposit money/processing fee/registration fee etc if you don't know the person you are dealing with. Always verify facts.