Cyber Fraud: Mumbai trader lured into escort services trap, duped of Rs 15 lakh
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A trader from Vile Parle was duped to the tune of Rs 15 lakh by a fraudster who offered him a lucrative job and lured him into a trap. The job that the fraudster offered him was a dating job with high returns and fooled the trader to make payments to him under different pretexts.

According to the Vile Parle police, in the month of March, the trader received a call from some escort service who offered him a dating job and promised to pay Rs 25,000- 30,000 per day for dating women. At that point of time the trader rubbished their claims, however, when he lost most of his business during the lockdown he decided to take up the dating business offer. As per the deal, all he had to do was to date a woman for a day, however, he was not aware that this all was a trap to dupe him.

On June 3, the trader called the escort services who first made him to pay Rs 26,500 as a registration fee and they then sent him photographs of four women and asked him to choose one of them, their contact number was also provided to him. The trader chose one Radhika. When contacted, Radhika asked about his escort licence, the trader who was not aware of any such thing was then made to pay of Rs 1.17 lakh for the licence, said police.

The trader was again made to pay Rs 1.14 lakh on the pretext of activating escort licence and for agreement. Each time trader was assured that all the money is refundable. However, when he started demanding his money back, the escort services told him to pay more and assured him that everything will be returned together. Believing them trader paid another Rs. 3.42 lakh to them in the second week of June.

To make the trader believe them, the fraudster transferred Rs 10,000 to his account in the third week of June and claimed that his bank is not approving the further transfer. Later he received a mail claiming Rs 6.80 lakh have been transferred in his account, however, the escort services asked him to pay another Rs 4.70 lakh in order to claim the amount. The mail also claimed that, after the payment was made he will receive all his money in 15 minutes.

This time again the trader fell for the trap and ended up paying Rs. 4.70 lakh. In the next few days the fraudster made him to pay another Rs 5.5 claiming to return his money.

Meanwhile when he tried to pay further, his bank blocked his account on the request of D B Marg police. When he inquired, the police informed him that his account was allegedly used by the fraudster was an illegal transfer. The police told him that the same group of fraudsters had cheated a businessman of over Rs 1 crore in the month of February and the Rs 10,000 that the trader had received in his account was a part of same money trail which they were investigating.

After learning about him, the police told him that he too had been duped by the fraudsters and asked him not to pay anything in future as the fraudsters were not going to return his money. The police asked him to approach the local police station after which the trader visited Vile Parle police station with his complaint.

We have registered an offence of online cheating and further investigation is underway. He have written the bank to freezer their accounts and also sought account holder's details as well as their mobile number details, said an officer from Vile Parle police station.

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