An 18-year-old woman lost ₹2.38 lakhs in an online scam where the accused claimed to be based in the UK and sent her gifts valued at ₹36.25 lakhs. Exploiting various pretexts, the fraudster deceived her, a case was filed at the Oshiwara police station on December 25.
The victim received a friend request on her Instagram account
According to police reports, Palak Patel (18), a student residing in Lokhandwala, Andheri West, received a friend request from someone named Amanpreet Singh on her Instagram account on December 15 at 8 a.m. After accepting the request, they exchanged contact numbers. Singh purported to be residing in the United Kingdom, and they communicated with each other via WhatsApp and became befriended.
The accused provided the victim with gifts and parcel bills via WhatsApp
On December 22, Singh informed Palak that he had sent gifts consisting of an iPhone, a gold watch, a diamond ring, a diamond necklace, and 5000 pounds, collectively valued at ₹36.35 lakhs, via a plane. He provided Palak with gift bills and parcel bills via WhatsApp. The next day, Palak received a call from an individual claiming to be Ravindra Yadav, informing her that her parcel had arrived at Mumbai Airport. The caller requested ₹18,200 as customs charges and asked for a Gpay number. Trusting the request, Palak transferred the sum from her father's account. Shortly after, the fraudster demanded an additional ₹55,000 for Income Tax. Palak borrowed some money from a friend and transferred it.
The victim borrowed money from relatives
The scam continued as the accused instructed Palak to pay ₹95,000 to obtain permission since the gift supposedly originated from another country. Palak, relying on borrowed money from relatives, made the transfer via Gpay. The fraudster persisted, demanding ₹70,000 to release the gifts from the Airport police. Again, Palak arranged for the money and transferred it.
After receiving a call from an unknown number, the victim knew something was wrong
On December 25, Palak received a call from an unfamiliar number. The caller identified himself as Vikram Singhania, an employee of the World Bank, and sought ₹75,000 to facilitate the release of her gifts. This interaction raised suspicions for Palak, she shared the incidents with her mother, which she had kept secret until then.
The victim lodged a complaint
Eventually, Palak lodged a complaint against an unidentified individual, invoking sections 419 (cheating) and 420 (cheating and dishonesty) of the Indian Penal Code, along with pertinent sections of the Information Technology Act, at the Oshiwara Police Station on December 25.