Cyber frauds: New Facebook user falls for customs clearance fraud, loses Rs 91,000

Mumbai: A 34-year-old Tardeo woman, who recently opened a Facebook account, became a victim of cyber fraud, when an unidentified man befriended her on FB and lured her into a trap. The accused, on the pretext of sending her expensive gifts, made her pay Rs 91,000 towards customs duty.

According to the police, the woman opened her FB account in August. In the second week of September, she received a friend request from one Jackson William, a doctor from Scotland, as was mentioned in his profile. Impressed with his profile details, the woman accepted his request and they began chatting.

Days later, Jackson told her that he was sending her a surprise gift. When she asked about the gifts, he sent her photographs of gold jewellery, mobile phone and purse. The woman initially denied the gifts; however, later she agreed after his repeated requests.

Few days ago, she received a call from a woman who claimed to be calling from the customs department at Delhi airport. She informed her about a parcel and asked her to pay Rs 18,000 as delivery charges. Unaware of the fraud, the woman paid the charges. Later, the 'customs officials' told her that they have found 30,000 pounds in the parcel, which amounts to Rs 28.5 lakh in Indian currency and asked her to pay a penalty worth Rs 48,000.

When the woman asked Jackson about the money, he claimed to want to surprise her and told her that, if she did not pay the money, airport authorities would put her behind bars. After repeated requests from Jackson, the woman paid the money. However, her ordeal was not yet over.

The 'customs officials' then asked another Rs 1 lakh to convert the pounds into Indian currency. The woman paid Rs 25,000 and said she would pay the remaining amount later. During a conversation with Jackson, the woman got suspicious and when she narrated the episode to her brother he told her that it's a fraud. Realising her mistake, the wpman approached Tardeo Police.

We have registered an offence of online cheating against an unknown accused and we are trying to trace them with the help of their phone number and their account details. However, people should remember that no one is going to send the gifts for free. If anyone is claiming to send anything for free, then remember that they have some other interests, said an officer from Tardeo Police.

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