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Home / Cities / Man duped by Facebook ‘friend’

Man duped by Facebook ‘friend’

cities Updated: Dec 14, 2019 21:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Gurugram: A man has been allegedly duped of over ₹3 lakh by a woman who befriended him on Facebook last month. The police said that the conmen posed as officials of the customs department and trapped him into transferring the money online on the pretext of multiple fees for a gift that his Facebook ‘friend’ had allegedly sent him from abroad.

According to the police, the victim, who works at a private company in the city, received a friend request on Facebook from one ‘Alicia Khloe’ who claimed to be a resident of London. After a week of chatting, she told him that she would be sending him gifts — jewellery, watch, garments and foreign currency — as a ‘token of her love and affection’.

The police said she took his address details and on November 26, nine days after they got acquainted, the victim received a phone call from a local number made by a person claiming to be a customs department official.

In his police complaint, the victim said, “The alleged customs official said that as per the law, I would have to pay a customs duty for clearance of the gift packet. He told me the contents of the gift package. I checked with my friend and she said that she was not aware of the Indian law. After I paid the customs duty of ₹24, 500, I was asked to pay ₹98,500 since the package contained foreign currency. Finally, they asked for ₹1.85 lakh for anti-terrorist money laundering certificate.”

The police said over the next two days, the victim was asked to deposit another ₹2.85 lakh to fulfil some baseless criteria. He suspected fraud and filed a police complaint in the first week of December and after investigation, a case was registered on Friday. The suspects are yet to be identified.

According to official data, till August 20 this year, the city police received about 500 complaints of fraud/cheating through social media.

A police official privy to the investigation, requesting anonymity, said that in such cases, the suspects induce panic in the mind of the victim by posing as an official from customs department and through repeated phone calls extort money from potential victims.

A case was registered against the unidentified suspects under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code at Cyber Crime police station on Friday, said the police.