For 65-year-old Vijaya Ghatge (name changed), extending a helping hand to an unknown Facebook friend was supposed to be a deed of humanity, but little did the Bhayandar-based retired government officer realize that she would become the latest victim of yet another fraud after being duped of Rs 7.13 lakh by the cyber crooks.
In her police complaint the retired officer has stated that she came into contact with a man who identified himself as London resident Richard Jack, through Facebook in June this year. Soon the two exchanged mobile numbers and frequently chatted on instant messaging apps.
Last month, Jack who claimed to be a civil engineer, informed that he had come to New Delhi for a project related work but fell ill and needed some money, following which the complainant transferred Rs 38,000 to a specified bank account.
After flying back to his home country, Jack expressed his desire to send some gifts to the complainant as a token of appreciation for her help. Despite her reluctance, Jack claimed that he had already sent an iPhone and 50,000 US. Dollars (around Rs 36 lakh in Indian currency).
A few days later, the complainant received a call from a person who claimed to be the representative of an international courier agency. As instructed by the caller, the complainant sent Rs 6.75 lakhs through multiple transfers in different bank accounts towards forex charges, taxes and penalty. But again the complainant was asked to arrange Rs 1.5 lakh and collect the parcel from a hotel in Mumbai.
However, when the person was untraceable, the complainant grew suspicious and approached the police. A complaint under section 420 of the IPC was registered at the Navghar police station on Tuesday. Further investigations were underway.