A 35-year-old woman from Khar became the latest victim of a matrimonial site con after a man, promising marriage, cheated her. He also tried to extort money by threatening to upload her morphed, obscene photographs on the Internet.
The woman, who is an HR manager with a Nariman Point-based firm, lives with her seven-year-old daughter in Khar Danda after her husband died last April. In her complaint to Khar police late last month, she said she created a profile on a matrimonial site on May 8 and got a response the very same day from a person, who identified himself as Rolland Fredric, a 33-year-old UK national.
They started communicating over messenger apps. He also claimed he bought several expensive gifts for her including jewellery and sent her the photographs on her mobile. “They soon decided to marry and Fredric told the woman he’ll visit India shortly,” said an officer, requesting anonymity.
Claiming to be on his way to India, Fredric messaged her the flight details on May 24. The next day, she received a call from a woman, who identified herself as an officer from the (Delhi) Airport Authority. “Calling herself Dipti Arora, the ‘official’ told the woman that Fredric has been held for illegally carrying Rs85 lakh and will be released only after he pays a fine of Rs48,000. Arora asked her to deposit the money in a bank account,” another officer said.
The day after, the woman went to Santacruz airport and waited for two hours for Fredric to arrive. She got a call from the same officer that an amount of Rs1.38 lakh was needed to release him. Arora claimed that her senior officials needed to be bribed in order to release Fredric.
The woman then called a friend to seek monetary help, who told her she was being cheated. “Determined to get back at him, she asked Fredric to come to Mumbai. When he asked for Rs20,000 more, she was convinced he is a fraud,” the officer added.
The woman asked Fredric to share his Delhi address for her to meet him with the cash, he sent her 17 morphed, obscene photographs instead. He then threatened to upload the photographs on the Internet and demanded more money from her. She then approached Khar police and lodged a complaint against Fredric and Arora, police said.
A case has been registered under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.
Preliminary probe revealed the account in which the money was deposited is in the name of R. Silvia and is at an Imphal branch of a nationalised bank. Further probe in the case is on.