Sunday, June 25, 2017

Musician loses Rs 55,000 to online fraudster


PUNE: A professional musician’s dreams of buying new equipment were shattered recently after he was duped of Rs 55,000 by an online fraudster suspected to be based out of West Bengal.

The 32-year-old victim - from Narayangaon; about 75 kms from Pune - was browsing through an online marketplace for digital percussion pads when on June 9, he found what he needed and contacted a listed phone number. The musician also wrote an email to the "seller".

"The deal was finalised at Rs 45,000," said T Y Mujawar, an assistant inspector with Narayangaon police. The police officer said the suspect then gave his bank's account number and told the victim to transfer Rs 45,000 and another Rs 10,000 as shipping charges. "The suspect assured the musician that the instruments would be couriered immediately and an amount of Rs 55,000 was wired to the given bank account," Mujawar added.

According to police, the money transfer was made between June 9 and June 15 and the suspect is believed to have told the victim that the instruments had been parcelled. "But when the musician didn't receive the parcel, he started calling up the listed phone number only to be repeatedly told that the package was on its way via a popular courier service. However, after waiting for days, and when the "seller" had stopped responding to the calls," the victim got suspicious.

When the complainant approached the bank to obtain details of the account he had transferred the money to, it was found that the account holder had already withdrawn the sum. It was only after this discovery that the police complaint was filed. Mujawar said prima facie, the suspect appears to be from the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. "We have registered a case under Section 420 (Cheating) of the Indian Penal Code," the police officer said.

Pune police on June 19 arrested a suspect from the Navi Peth area and also booked his wife and parents for allegedly duping many students after promising them rented low-cost accommodation. The suspects had used an online classifieds forum to attract students. Four students had complained of losing Rs 15,000 each.


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