Woman poses as Canadian on wedding site, cheats Mumbai man of Rs7.8 lakh

Woman and man who posed as her father get him to send the money for a ‘biz deal’ to boost his marriage prospects

mumbai Updated: Jul 21, 2017 15:09 IST
Jayprakash S Naidu
Jayprakash S Naidu
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,Cyber crime,Matrimonial sites
According to the police, the man befriended one Jennifer Brown though the matrimonial site last March.

A 40-year-old Andheri resident was allegedly cheated of Rs7.8 lakh by a woman who posed as a Canadian on a matrimonial website. According to the police, the man befriended one Jennifer Brown though the site last March. The woman, police said, allegedly lifted a photo from a Russian woman’s Facebook page for her profile. The two would phone each other and text through Whatsapp, police said.

Several months later, the woman told the man she had fallen in love with him and wanted to marry him, police said. According to the police, the man told her that marriage would be difficult as he was not rich and would not be able to travel to Canada. The woman said she could help by getting him to help her father in his business. She then introduced him to a man who posed as her father, George Brown.

According to the police, he told the victim there was a huge demand for Tatasha Herbal seeds in the US and that they were available in Bangalore. He gave him a number. When the man phoned, a woman picked up. She said she had three packets that cost Rs7.8 lakh. On March 30 , the victim sent the money through RTGS and two days later, received three packets of seeds by courier.

According to the police, when he called Jennifer, he was told that 90 more packets were required. This is when he suspected something was amiss. The man told HT, “After repeated calls, the woman said she and an other man, a Nigerian, were cheating him. I have alerted the woman whose Facebook picture they used. Before paying the money, I had also spoken to the an employee of the site, who said the profile was genuine. The website misled me too.” The accused’s phones were switched off, police said. An FIR was registered this month.

Don’t reveal personal information such as your name, address, email Id, telephone numbers or place of work in the beginning. Stay away from people who ask for money
Communicate with profiles that are verified by the website. Try to remain anonymous until you fully trust a person
Stop communicating with anyone who pressurises you for photographs, mailing addresses or mobile numbers or tries to trick you into revealing those details
If someone gives you a phone number with a strange area code, make sure it is legitimate before you make a phone call or you could incur large expenses
Don’t use your personal or work email Id to communicate with a person you don’t know well. Create a temporary one instead
Ask a trusted person to read the emails you receive as an unbiased observer. They will be able to spot warning signs you may have missed
Use a pre-paid mobile phone number or blocking techniques to prevent your phone number from being revealed.
Any internet cheating or crime can be reported to Mumbai police’s
Cyber wing 24x7 helpline: 9820810007 Phone: 022-26504008 E-mail: cyberpst-mum@ mahapolice.gov.in Office: Cyber Police Station, First Floor, Bandra-Kurla Complex Police Stn., Bandra (E), Mumbai.
Do not accept unknown friend requests: Not every friend request is legitimate. A private investigator and sex offenders create fake accounts to gain access to profiles. If you do not know the person, don’t add them to your friends list. They will search your personal information, your posts and have access to all your photos.
Avoid placing personal information and photos on social networking sites: Your photos or information such as your residential address, phone number, mobile phone number and date of birth can become public instantly and can be misused
Do not leave your computer unattended with your Facebook account open: Leaving access to your Facebook account is not safe. Be sure to sign out.
May 2016: A 32-year-old homemaker from Dadar was cheated of Rs6.5 lakh by one Steve John. After getting into a friendship with John, she told him that her family was facing financial crises as her husband had recently lost his job. ‘John’ told her that he has sent her a gift. The next day she got a call from the ‘customs department’, saying that she will have to pay for the gift.
January 2016: A 32-year-old woman from Thane was cheated of Rs1.86 lakh by her Facebook friend Frank Bell, using the same modus operandi. He sent her a Christmas gift from London and she had to ‘pay’ for it.
September 2015: Sushant Gavare (name changed), who owns coaching institutes, was cheated of Rs20.76 lakh. He paid the money as processing fees for expensive gifts — gold watches, gold chains, a high-end laptop, an expensive smartphone, three cheques totalling £15,000 (more than Rs15 lakh), and the promise to transfer £50,000 (more than Rs51 lakh) to his bank account. To gain Gavare’s trust, the fraudsters couriered him an ATM card with PIN, using which he was able to withdraw Rs10,000.

Read: Mumbai: Two held for duping women of Rs 2cr on matrimonial sites

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 01:17 IST