A 40-year-old woman, Pooja Umesh Singh, who owns a medical store in the Katemanivali area of Kalyan (East), fell victim to an online gift fraud, losing a total of ₹2,75,000 to two cyber fraudsters. The incident occurred between May and June of 2023.
Pooja, a diploma holder and pharmacist, had rented a medical store in the Tisgaon area of Jarimarinagar. The fraudsters targeted her using a deceptive scheme involving online shopping and gift delivery.
Providing details of the incident, M.R. Deshmukh, the senior police inspector at Kolsewadi police station, stated, "In May, the complainant was present at her medical store around 6 pm when an individual, identified as Daniel Jack, visited the shop inquiring about medicines. During the interaction, Daniel discreetly took a photograph of the victim's shop before leaving."
Deshmukh continued, "Two days later, Daniel contacted Pooja through WhatsApp, informing her that she had won a gift from a private shipping company. Subsequently, a person named Ram Chali messaged Pooja, claiming that the item had arrived from Broadway Shipping delivery company and was in their possession. The fraudster demanded a customs duty payment of ₹25,000 for the item, threatening Pooja with a criminal case if she failed to comply."
Fearing legal consequences, Pooja succumbed to the pressure and paid a total of ₹2,75,000 online to the bank account provided by the fraudsters as customs duty. However, after making the payment, she never received the promised gift item. When Pooja confronted Daniel to demand her money back, he began avoiding her calls and providing evasive responses.
Realising that she had been deceived, Pooja lodged a complaint against the two fraudsters. The authorities have now registered a case of cheating against the culprits and are actively investigating the matter.