An unknown man duped an 18-year-old girl from Nepal of Rs 1.5 lakh under the pretext of helping her rent an apartment in south Mumbai. The Santacruz police is on the lookout for the alleged fraudster who posed as a real estate agent to dupe the Nepalese national.
The girl registered a cheating case at Santacruz police station on August 21. In her statement, she said after getting admission in a south Mumbai-based college, she shifted to the city from Kathmandu in July.
“She was staying with her relatives in Santacruz while looking for a place to rent somewhere close to her college in south Mumbai,” said an officer from Santacruz police station.
According to the police, she got in touch with a man online who posed as a real estate agent. “When she called him, the fraudster asked her to text him on WhatsApp. He shared photos of a few flats in Marine lines with her,” said an officer.
After shortlisting an apartment, the teenager went to see the building, when a watchman posted there informed her that rent for a flat in the building was around Rs 2 lakh. “She called the agent, who said the amount (Rs 2 lakh) quoted by the watchman is the deposit for the flat while the rent is Rs 50,000,” said an officer.
On 25 July, the complainant transferred Rs 20,000 as advance money, after which the fraudster made a fake agreement and sent it to her.
“The girl then called her grandfather in Nepal, who transferred Rs 1.30 lakh into the bank account number given by the fraudster,” said an officer.
After taking the money, the fraudster did not hand her the flat keys, claiming that flat was under renovation. He kept delaying the date for handing over the keys till August 5, after which he switched off his phone.
“When she visited the flat in Marine Drive, she realised she was duped. She then approached the police in mid August,” added an officer.