Befriending an unknown person on Instagram proved costly for a 28-year-old woman, who works in a private company at Kanjurmarg. The fraudster, who claimed to be a foreigner working as an engineer with a shipping company, after regular chatting with the victim, told that he loves her and wanted to send her a gift parcel. The fraudster and his associates then induced the victim to pay Rs 7.62 lakh in order to claim the said gift. The victim had also taken a personal loan which she spent in paying the fraudsters.
According to the police, the complainant is a resident of Diva in Thane, In May, this year, the victim had come across the Instagram account of a person who claimed to be working with a shipping company. The two also exchanged their numbers and then started chatting on regularly. The accused also proposed to the victim and said he wanted to marry her. The accused told the victim that he would be sending her a gift from Poland.
On May 29, the accused told the victim that she would have to pay the customs duty and also shared photo of the gift that he had sent. On May 31, the victim received a phone call from a woman claiming to be calling from the Delhi airport and she informed the victim that her parcel has arrived and she needs to pay the customs duty, police said.
"Since December 31 till January 10, this year, the fraudsters induced the victim to pay Rs 7.62 lakh in different bank accounts in order to claim the parcel. The victim had also taken a personal loan which she had spent to pay the fraudsters. Later when the demand for money kept continuing, the victim confronted her friend, who started avoiding her calls. She then realised that she had been duped and approached the police," said a police officer.
The police have registered a case under sections 34 (common intention), 419 (Punishment for cheating by personation) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and section 66D (punishment for cheating by personation by using computer resources) of the Information Technology Act in the matter.