The Mumbai cyber police have registered an offence after a 42-year-old woman from Andheri was duped to a tune of over ₹15 lakh. A cyber fraudster befriended her on Facebook and extorted the money by threatening to book in a money laundering case if she did not pay him.
The fraudster who goes by the name Mark Kelvin, befriended her in September last year and had claimed that he runs a gas station and currently stays in Germany along with his two children and his mother.
After chatting with her for several months, on January 16, Kelvin texted the Mumbai woman and informed her that he was sending her gifts including gold jewellery, high-end watches, perfumes and an iPhone.
Initially, the woman who is into the automobile business did not believe Kelvin however she was shocked after receiving a call from customs at Delhi airport informing her about the arrival of said gift asking her to pay customs duty of ₹35,000.
The woman paid the money but it was just the beginning of the scam, the same official, again contacted her and claimed that the parcel also contained $70,000 and added that she would be booked for money laundering if she did not pay the penalty. Fearing this the woman immediately paid ₹2.30 lakhs.
In the next couple of days, the woman was made to pay lakhs of rupees on the pretext of different charges, including conversions, transfer costs and an account up-gradation charge of ₹4.10 lakhs.
On one occasion, the fraudster also claimed that Kelvin has been apprehended at Delhi airport with 15 million British Pounds and made her pay ₹2.65 lakh.
Recently, when she narrated the incident to a friend, her friend informed her that it was all fraud and advised her to approach the police.
"We have registered an offence of impersonation and cheating along with relevant sections of the Information Technology act. We have frozen all the bank accounts related to the fraud however they are already been emptied. We are trying to trace the accused with the help of his phone number and bank credentials, "said an official from the West region cyber police station.