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Home / Cities / Facebook ‘friend’ defrauds Panchkula man of ₹2.3 lakh

Facebook ‘friend’ defrauds Panchkula man of ₹2.3 lakh

Claiming to be foreigner, accused asked victim to pay money for getting customs clearance for Rs 10 lakh gift

cities Updated: Jan 05, 2020 00:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Hindustantimes

A 34-year-old man was duped by tricksters of Rs 2.35 lakh on the pretext of payment for the customs clearance of a gift sent from abroad.

Complainant Deva Sharma, a resident of Shiv Colony, Pinjore, told police that he came in contact with one Marcello Dennis through Facebook and used to talk to him through messenger. Later, the duo shared their phone numbers and would chat on WhatsApp also. Sharma told the police that last month, he received a call from Dennis, telling him that he had sent a gift for him worth Rs 10 lakh and sought his help, citing that he was facing some problem with its customs clearance.

He asked Sharma to get the article from Delhi airportafter paying the clearance amount, adding that he would tell him the further process later. Police said that as per the complainant, he received some information through a message on his mobile phone, mentioning it to be on behalf of the customs department.

AMOUNT DEPOSITED IN 2 INSTALMENTS

“The information mentioned that the article was lying at Delhi airport and I should go there to get it by depositing the required fees,” Sharma stated in the complaint. Later, he received calls from Dennis and another man, Naresh Chirom, asking him to come to the airport and deposit Rs 65,000 for clearance.

Police said the complainant did not go anywhere but deposited Rs 65,000 in Oriental Bank of Commerce’s Kalka branch in favour of Chirom.

Investigating official assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Devi Dayal said that after sometime, the complainant again received a call from Chirom, asking for Rs 1.7 lakh and accordingly, he deposited the amount in the same account.

“Next day, he received another call from a person mentioning himself as Dennis’ customer and sought more payment for the customs clearance of the article. Smelling something foul, the complainant narrated everything to his parents, stopped responding to the calls and lodged a complaint,” the ASI said.

Police said they have initiated an investigation into the matter and are tracing the mobile phone numbers submitted by the complainant. A case has been registered under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code at Pinjore police station.

SIMILAR CASES IN 2019:

December 25: Unidentified men were booked for duping a 50-year-old Indian Forest Service officer posted as the chief conservator of forest of Rs 60,000 in an online fraud. In-charge of the west circle, Hisar (Haryana), ML Rajvanshi, had received a message on his mobile phone, mentioning that his bank account had been temporarily suspended and later, a trickster got access to his Aadhaar number and other details.

October 7: A 42-year-old man was duped of Rs 3.2 lakh on the pretext of acquiring fake LPG agency distributorship online. Complainant Alok Kumar of Chandimandir had told the police that he had registered online on an LPG website and later received a call from a person posing as an agency representative.

August 17: Unidentified employees of a Gurugram firm were booked for duping an ITBP official of Rs 3.5 lakh. The victim, Hari Chander, told the police that the staff of a the company, EWAY One, lured him to invest money with the promise of doubling the amount in three months.

August 16: A Paonta Sahib man and a private bank branch manager were booked for duping an assistant sub-inspector of Panchkula Police of Rs 81,000. The accused in connivance with the bank manager in Panchkula, used a credit card made fraudulently in name of the complainant.