A 51-year-old woman from Khar lost Rs 3.68 lakh after being befriended by a person on a social media site. After rapidly gaining her trust, the man, who had claimed to be an officer working on a ship, promised to send her a Valentine’s Day gift and induced her to shell out money on various pretexts.
When the demand morphed into blackmail, the woman realised she had been duped and lodged a police complaint.
Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14 every year, has evolved over the years into a commercial celebration of romance and love in most of the world.
Fraudster induced woman to share private pictures with him
According to the Khar police, on February 3, the victim had received a friend request on her Instagram profile from an unknown person and the said request was accepted by her. The two then began chatting regularly and at the request of the ‘friend’, the woman shared her contact number with him.
The ‘friend’ had told her he was an officer working on a ship and also had a gym business in Italy. The two became close friends and he even induced the victim to share her private photograph with him.
He said he was sending gift, asked for address
On February 8, the fraudster told the victim that he was sending her a Valentine’s Day and wanted her to share her address. Further, he said, she would have to pay 750 to the courier company and the money was kept in an envelope inside the parcel.
Victim was asked to pay for various charges
On February 10, the victim received a call from a person informing that her parcel had arrived and she was asked to pay various ‘charges’. Then she was told the parcel contained Rs 1.50 lakh and was again asked to shell out a payment for getting a ‘money laundering clearance certificate’.
Since the ‘courier’ kept demanding money, she confronted her friend, who told her that if she would not pay the money, then he would make her photograph viral.
Police book man for con, impersonation
Finally realising that she had been duped, the woman approached the police and got a complaint lodged in the matter on Sunday. Police have registered a case under sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 66C (identity theft) and 66D (cheating by personation by using computer resource) of the Information Technology Act.
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