Cyber frauds: Seaman helps FB friend, gets duped of Rs 8 lakh

Bhayandar: In yet another cyber crime reported from the twin city, a 42-year-old seaman from Uttan was duped of Rs 8.25 lakh in exchange of extending a helping hand to an unknown Facebook friend. In his police complaint, the seaman, who works in the housekeeping wing of a shipping firm, came in contact with a woman who identified herself as UK-based Rose Smith through FB in June this year.

Soon, the two exchanged mobile numbers and frequently interacted on instant messaging apps. A few days later, Smith informed her that her sister was stuck in Mumbai due to the lockdown and needed some money, following which the complainant transferred Rs 34,000 to a specified bank account. Later, Smith said that she intended to send a demand draft of 60,000 pounds (around Rs 58 lakh in Indian currency) to her sister, but since she did not have a bank account in India, they wanted to deposit the draft in his account.

The seaman agreed, but started receiving calls to deposit money towards fees to clear the foreign currency. As instructed, the complainant sent more than Rs 7.91 lakh through multiple transfers in different bank accounts. However, neither the said funds were credited into his account, nor were the callers, including Smith, reachable. Realizing he was duped, the seaman registered a complaint with the Uttan coastal police station.

“We have registered an FIR under section 420 of the IPC. Investigations were on to trace the phone numbers and track the bank accounts,” said Assistant Police Inspector Satish Nikam. A few days ago a retired personnel from Bhayandar was duped of Rs 7.13 lakh by cyber crooks using a similar modus-operandi.

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