If you are on a matrimonial website and get approached by a rich, attractive African girl, think twice.
In two recent instances, prospective grooms from Mumbai, encountered proposals where the brides-to-be tried to lure them with their pictures, some emotional drama and loads of bank balance.
Anil Shinde (32), a media professional who had uploaded his profile on a popular marriage website, was contacted by someone who identified herself as 24-year-old Mabel Fedinard, an unmarried Liberian national.
Fedinard first tried to win Sunil’s sympathies by claiming she was the only daughter of her multi-millionaire father, who passed away recently and her stepmother was trying to take control of everything. She said she had managed to flee and was living in a refugee camp.
“She showed a lot of interest in marrying me and a willingness to settle in India. Later, she tried to lure me by saying her father has left 3.2 million dollars in a bank account, which she cannot withdraw by living in a refugee camp,” said Shinde.
He added: “She offered me to be a beneficiary of the amount and help her get the money. She forwarded the landline number of the camp, where she was staying. But when she told me I had to pay some initial amount (Rs 50,000) as bank fees for transitioning the amount into my account, I suspected something fishy and backed out.”
Suhail Sheikh (25), another member of a matrimonial website, was approached by someone who identified herself as Isabella Smart, also an African. He too faced a situation similar to that of Shinde’s. “I am looking for a prospective bride for myself, but now I have become very careful.”
Though the new modus operandi has not been brought to the notice of the police, Vijay Mukhhi, a cyber expert helping the Mumbai police says, “These fraudsters routinely come up with new ways to earn quick money. It’s not possible for these websites to keep a check on every member, but they have no option as they may lose customers if such things go on.”