A 54-year-old manager of a nationalised bank was duped of Rs 10.7 lakh and became the latest victim of a cybercrime racket in the city. The police said the accused — a lady — befriended him on facebook and cheated him on the pretext of seeking help.
According to the police officials, the lady, identified as Asha Kumar, had added the manager on Facebook and started pursuing him since June 16.
An officer from Mulund police station, requesting anonymity, said, “After Kumar added the manager on Facebook, the two had smooth conversation which led to them sharing numbers.”
The duo then started talking, following which the accused said she wished to start a jewellery business in Mumbai. “Kumar said she owned a jewellery shop in Chicago and wished to start one in India for which she needed help so she befriended him,” said an officer.
Kumar told the manager that she was coming to Mumbai. However, later he got a fake call from a ‘customs department in Delhi, that informed her that the lady had been caught with Rs 3 crore Indian currency and needed to pay a heavy fine.
“The manager deposited Rs 49,300 in his account and then Rs 10.7 lakhs in different places in the subsequent month,” added an officer.
The manager got several calls from people claiming to be customs officers. It was recently that the manager realized that he had been duped and so stopped andwering these calls.
The man registered a case under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 170 (personating a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code along with section 66 (D) under Information Technology Act with Mulund police station against Kumar and four custom officers who posed themselves as Arjun Pawar, Ashok Sharma, Ajay Singh and A.K. Chavan.
1) The gang which consists of both male and female accused, sends friend request on facebook to the opposite sex.
2) After chatting for days, they share numbers and start connecting with the victim emotionally.
3) With an intention to seek/offer help, the accused claims that they are coming to Mumbai to start a business/sending a gift to them.
4) The next they get a call from an individual posing themselves as custom officer claiming that the person has been held/ gift has been confiscated which was costly.
5) Following in order to release the person/gift, the gang then asks them to pay a fine in different transactions.
May 2016 - A 32-year-old housewife from Dadar was duped of Rs 6.5 Lakhs by one Steve John on the pretext of sending her a gift. After getting emotionally connected with John she revealed that her family was facing financial crises as her husband recently lost his job. Of which the accused took advantage and claimed to have sent her a present on March 28 and immediately the next day she gets a call from one Sonia claiming to be from the customs department that gift has been confiscated and in order to get it back she will have to pay heavy fine.
January 2016 - Thirty-two-year old from Thane nagar, was duped of Rs1.86 lakh by her Facebook friend Frank Bell, who lured her over a Christmas gift from London.
September 2015 - Sushant Gavare (name changed) who owns coaching institutes was duped to the tune of Rs 20.76 lakhs, paid the money as processing fees for getting a gift parcel of gold watches, gold chains, a high-end laptop, an expensive smartphone and three cheques totalling £15,000 (over Rs 15 lakh), and the promise of transfer of £50,000 (over Rs 51 lakh) to his bank account. To gain Gavare’s trust, the fraudsters couriered him an ATM card with PIN, using which he was able to withdraw Rs 10,000.
July 2010 - Vijay Bahadur Khatri , 23, was arrested by a special squad of the Western Suburb and is believed to have conned nearly 25 girls by befriending them on Facebook, claiming that his parents were in the United States and then ‘impressing’ them by spending a lot of money during his meetings with them.