Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Online gift trap dupes woman for Rs. 41 lakh


PUNE: The promise of lavish gifts from a glib-talking virtual friend recently cost a 55-year-old woman medical practitioner from Bhosari Rs 41.82 lakh

The online "friend" had duped the medical practitioner with a false promise of sending foreign currency and gold ornaments between December 13, 2017 and January 11, 2018. Though the "gift" never reached the Pune woman, she ended up shelling out nearly Rs 42 lakh, as purported charges and fees to get the "gift" cleared from the Customs and RBI.

The woman said, in December 2017, she received a friend request on her social networking account from a man identifying himself as UK-based Mike Rodriguer. "I accepted the request as he had introduced himself as a medical practitioner," she said. They started chatting and shared phone numbers. "He said he would send gold ornaments and foreign currency as a gift to me," the woman said. However, in spite of paying Rs 41.82 lakh, she failed to get the parcel Mike had supposedly sent for her. She then lodged a complaint with the Bhosari police. An offence under Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC and other relevant sections of the Information and Technology Act has been registered.

 The complainant said first a woman, posing to be a Delhi Airport officer, called to tell her that a parcel had arrived from London and that she must pay charges to release it from customs. A few days later, a man, also pretending to be an airport official, said the parcel has been confiscated as officials found a large amount of foreign currency in it. The victim was asked to pay some more money. "Later, a third man, this time posing as a Reserve Bank of India officer, asked me to transfer more money into another bank account as charges," she said.


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