Mumbai

Bid to join dating site costs 26-year-old ₹3.72 lakh

Nerul businessman falls prey to enticing offer of meeting beautiful women online

The Nerul police have registered a case of cheating after a 26-year-old businessman fell prey to an unidentified woman’s offer to join a dating site and ended up paying ₹3.72 lakh in just two days to open an account.

The police said the complainant was a resident of Sector 19 in Nerul and ran a business that distributed masalas and ayurvedic products to shops. The complainant claimed that the woman contacted him on August 28 and introduced herself as Priya Gupta.

The woman told him that she ran a dating website where he could befriend beautiful women and spend quality time with them. Ms. Gupta said the online registration would cost ₹920 and the man paid the amount using his Google Pay account. Later, Ms. Gupta told him that ₹9,000 had to be paid to secure a login ID. After he made the payment, Ms. Gupta called to inform him that his system code was 100 and so he had to actually make a payment of ₹9,100. He then paid her the entire amount.

After a while, the woman made another call and told the man that he had to pay ₹25,100 to apply for a membership. However, the complainant accidentally paid only ₹25,000 and the woman claimed that the amount was not reflecting in the system as he had failed to pay the extra ₹100. He then paid her the full amount.

In a subsequent call, Ms. Gupta asked him to pay ₹35,100 to secure the membership licence and demanded ₹56,100 for the legal documents. All the while, Ms. Gupta assured the complainant that the entire money would be refunded.

Elusive refund

A police officer said, “When the complainant sought the refund, Ms. Gupta told him that the office was closed for the day and the refund would be processed the next day. He was then told to pay ₹57,384 as GST to claim the refund. After making the payment, the woman said the amount was not reflecting in the system and told him to pay a round figure of ₹78,000. The complainant paid that amount too. The woman later said he had forgotten to pay the amount with the extra ₹100. He then paid her ₹78,100.”

When the complainant again asked for the refund, Ms. Gupta told him that he had so far paid ₹3,72,784 and she would give him a total refund of ₹5 lakh if he made an additional payment of ₹1.26 lakh. Finally realising that he was being cheated, the man refused to pay more money and approached the Nerul police on August 31.

Senior police inspector Rajendra Chavan said, “Our only lead in the case is the woman’s cell phone number, which is now switched off. We are pursuing the case with the Cyber Cell’s technical assistance.”

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 11:23:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bid-to-join-dating-site-costs-26-year-old-372-lakh/article29345766.ece

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