Techie duped of Rs 23.4 lakh by woman on dating website

ST CORRESPONDENT
Monday, 4 February 2019

The police said the fraudster told the victim she was coming to India to meet him. After a few days, she called him up and said she was detained at Delhi airport for carrying excess luggage.

PUNE: A 38-year-old IT engineer approached the Wanawadi police after he was allegedly cheated of Rs 23.5 lakh by a woman he had befriended on a dating website. 

According to the police, the incident took place between January 1 and May 12 in 2017. The police have lodged a case against four persons including the unidentified woman.

The police said the fraudster told the victim she was coming to India to meet him. After a few days, she called him up and said she was detained at Delhi airport for carrying excess luggage. She claimed she was  asked to pay a fine, but did not have Indian currency. She asked the victim for help. He then transferred Rs 23.5 lakh to the account numbers given by the fraudster only to realise later that he had been cheated. 

The police said such frauds have become common over the last few years and people continue to fall prey to such scams. They said there are instances when people have got phone calls from fraudsters claiming they need to be rescued.

The fraudsters claim their gifts have been confiscated by Customs officials who are demanding a huge sum for release of gifts and parcels. “This is the most common fraud when the accused poses as a single girl/ woman living abroad. After befriending victims over the Internet and at times through phone calls, the accused seek money in a bank account for payment of Customs duty against a precious gift claimed to have been brought by her. People fall for this trap and deposit money in the account only to lose it,” said a police official.

Officials of the Customs department have frequently warned people to not fall to such traps and have advised people to look for fact checking measures like checking for ticket date and time of travel other bills and also other details.

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