Gurugram woman duped of Rs 1.34 lakh by man claiming ‘true love’ on social networking site
A 37-year-old married woman was allegedly duped of Rs 1.34 lakh by a man she befriended on a social networking website. The man made repeated attempts to convince the woman that he was her “true love” and promised to send her Christmas gifts, police said.
Trusting her online ‘friend’, she was conned into transferring Rs 1.34 lakh in the garb of custom fees, penalty and conversion charges by the man and his accomplices, posing as officials of a courier company, police said.
According to the complaint, the woman, a Sector 57 resident, received a friend request on Facebook from a man, who identified himself as a foreign national, towards the end of last year and, within a couple of days of sending her a request, he took her WhatsApp number and started texting her, claiming to be in love with her.
In the FIR registered on Wednesday, the complainant stated that on December 9, the man took her postal address to send her some Christmas gifts.
“He said I would have to incur a nominal ‘delivery or custom charge’ for the gifts, but later, someone from a courier company asked me to transfer Rs 19,500 as the custom charge. When I checked with the man, he said the parcel contained 10,000 pounds (sterling) and I need not worry. The courier company said the parcel also contained gold jewellery, an iPhone and a handbag,” she wrote in the complaint.
Police said the courier company later demanded Rs 55,000 as ‘penalty fees’ from the victim, saying the parcel contained foreign currency. A police official privy to the investigation said the victim wired Rs 19,500 as customs charge, Rs 50,000 as penalty fees and Rs 65,000 as conversion charge, in one month.
“When the man and the courier company did not send any parcel and were unreachable, the woman filed a complaint with the police in January. We are going through the Facebook profiles of some foreign nationals and checking call records to trace the accused,” the police official said.
A case was registered on Wednesday under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), section 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code and section 66 D of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act at sector 56 police station, police said.
In the last one month, three cases of cyber fraud have been reported using the same modus operandi.
Fraudsters, using fake profiles, contact unsuspecting people on social networking websites for friendship or a romantic liaison and ask for money by promising to send gifts or offering partnership in a business venture.
According to data from cyber crime police station, 278 cases of Facebook fraud have been reported this year till August 6.
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