Mumbai

Nerul woman duped of ₹24 lakh by Facebook ‘friend’

The Nerul police have booked two people for cheating a 54-year-old woman from Nerul of ₹24.18 lakh.

The complainant is a widow and runs a boutique. She was befriended by a man calling himself Alex Omar on Facebook on August 24. After a while, they started chatting on WhatsApp and he soon promised to send her expensive purses, perfume, jewellery and £80,000.

On September 2, a woman calling herself N. Sumi from the Customs department called the complainant and told her a parcel for her had reached Delhi airport. From September 2 to 5, Ms. Sumi asked the woman to transfer a total of ₹24.18 lakh into two different accounts as customs duty and other charges to release the parcel.

“Both the accused seem to have planned the crime together and may have cheated several people in a similar way. We are investigating the technical details to trace the accused,” sub-inspector Harshal Babar from Nerul police station said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Navi Mumbai Crime Branch, Pravin Patil, warned people against such transactions. “If the person asking for money is someone you have never met, no money should be transferred to them,” he said.

So far this year, the cyber cell of the Navi Mumbai Police has registered six cases in which people have been cheated of a collective ₹95 lakh by unknown people who befriended them on Facebook. Similarly, six people were cheated of ₹50 lakh by unidentified people via matrimonial sites.

“These are just the cases in which we received complaints. There would be even more cases with local police stations and others that people don’t report,” Mr. Patil said.

In one of the cases, a 65-year-old widower was cheated of ₹24 lakh by a woman who contacted him via a matrimonial site and told him she was based in Turkey. After chatting for some months, she convinced him to invest in a company she planned to start, a cyber cell official said. In another case, the wife of a Navi Mumbai politician was cheated of ₹40 lakh by an unidentified man who befriended her on Facebook. He told her to transfer the money to ensure that a gift seized by the Customs would be delivered to her.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 8:41:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/nerul-woman-duped-of-24-lakh-by-facebook-friend/article29453705.ece

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