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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

‘British’ woman befriends Navy official on social media, dupes him of Rs 8 lakh

According to the Trombay police, on July 4, the complainant received a request from one Sofia Paolino on a social media website. She claimed to be from Bristol, England, and said she was handling her family business after her parents died in an accident.

mumbai Updated: Aug 15, 2019 02:23 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
A 32-year-old Navy official from Chembur was duped of Rs 8 lakh in a case of cyber fraud by an alleged foreign national whom he befriended on social media.
A 32-year-old Navy official from Chembur was duped of Rs 8 lakh in a case of cyber fraud by an alleged foreign national whom he befriended on social media. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
         

A 32-year-old Navy official from Chembur was duped of Rs 8 lakh in a case of cyber fraud by an alleged foreign national whom he befriended on social media.

According to the Trombay police, on July 4, the complainant received a request from one Sofia Paolino on a social media website. She claimed to be from Bristol, England, and said she was handling her family business after her parents died in an accident.

“A few days later, Paolino told the complainant that her business had earned huge profits and she would be visiting India on July 10 to look at investment opportunities. She also told him that she was bringing gifts for him,” said an officer.

On July 10, the complainant received a call from a woman, Neha Sharma, who said she was head of immigration at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi. “She told him that Paolino had been detained at the airport as she had illegally brought along a demand draft of UK £1 million [equivalent to Rs 9 crore]. Sharma said that Paolino would have to pay a fine of Rs 65,000,” police said.

The complainant then spoke to Paolino, who sought help from him and promised to return the money when they met. The complainant transferred Rs 65,000 to the customs official’s account.

Over the course of time, Paolino and Sharma made the complainant pay a total of Rs 8 lakh for additional charges.

“The fraudsters made the complainant take a personal loan after he ran out of money. When he approached a friend to borrow more, he was told that he was being cheated. When the complainant called Paolino, her phone was switched off,” the officer said. He then filed a complaint at Trombay police station and a case was registered against the two accused under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Information Technology Act.

First Published: Aug 14, 2019 23:04 IST

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