Pune: FB friend dupes 64-yr-old ex-scientist of Rs94 lakh on pretext of marrying her | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Pune: FB friend dupes 64-yr-old ex-scientist of Rs94 lakh on pretext of marrying her

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2016 13:01 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Satyajit Joshi
Hindustan Times
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A few days after she accepted his request, the two began chatting on Facebook. Harley told her that he was rich and wished to marry her. They then exchanged phone numbers and started chatting on WhatsApp (AP Photo)

A retired scientist from the prestigious National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) was duped of Rs94 lakh by an alleged foreigner on the pretext of marrying her.

The 64-year-old victim approached Chatushrungi police on Wednesday and lodged a complaint against the accused claiming that he took the said amount over a period of four months by giving different reasons. The complainant is a widow — her husband died two years ago — and resides in the upscale Model Colony area. Her only daughter resides in the US.

In her complaint, the woman stated that she received a friend request from a person named Harley Benson on Facebook in May this year. Harley introduced himself as a 56-year-old London-based professional.

A few days after she accepted his request, the two began chatting on Facebook. Harley told her that he was rich and wished to marry her. They then exchanged phone numbers and started chatting on WhatsApp.

The con job

During one of their conversations, Harley told the scientist that he had sent her gift worth £95,000 but it has been confiscated by the Customs officers at the airport. He then requested her to claim it by depositing Rs 5 lakh into an account, for which he provided bank details. Unaware that she was being duped, the victim deposited the said amount. In the next four months, the woman deposited Rs94 lakh into the same account whenever Harley asked her to deposit a particular amount.

It was here that the woman got suspicious of Harley’s motives, as she never received the said gift. Moreover, Harley stopped contacting her and the victim couldn’t reach him via Facebook. Upon realising that she had been duped, the woman approached the police and lodged a complaint. Investigation revealed that the woman raised money to pay Harley by selling her flat in Baher