A hacker who introduced himself as a journalist almost swindled members of former royal families, by sending out a distress email from the email account of the princess of Jamnagar.

The hacker, Sanjay alias Saurabh Jain, allegedly hacked the email account of Harshad Kumari of Jamnagar in Gujarat and emailed members of royal families in India asking them for $2,500.

The email said she was stranded in Madrid with her sister who was in hospital and had lost her wallet.

Siddharth Sinh, of the Jhala royal family in Gujarat’s Surendranagar, checked with Ms. Harshad’s family who reported the matter to the Jamnagar Police. The case was transferred to the Crime Branch who traced the bank account number given by Mr. Jain to a branch of ICICI in Jabalpur in the name of Saurabh Patel.

Mr. Patel was detained by the Jabalpur Police on Thursday night before being transferred to a team of from the Jamnagar Crime Branch. Mr. Patel told investigators that he worked for Mr. Jain, who introduced himself as a freelancer for several news channels, including Times Now. Thana in-charge of Garha Bazar Police Station in Jabalpur, B.S. Rajput told The Hindu that Mr. Jain had duped Mr. Patel into letting him use his ATM card.

“Patel is a foolish and poor person. He said he was sent by Jain to Mumbai while he used his ATM card and made transactions of lakhs of rupees,” Mr. Rajput told this reporter.

Inspector D.M. Patel of the Jamnagar Crime Branch confirmed the details, but added that no money had been lost and the demand was in dollars, not pounds as stated by Mr. Rajput. “The email was sent in March. After Harshadji was alerted, she told her friends and no money was lost. The case is under investigation and we are examining the statements of the accused Patel,” he told The Hindu over phone.