Mumbai woman duped of Rs 4.57 lakh by FB friend, accomplicehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-woman-duped-of-rs-4-57-lakh-by-fb-friend-accomplice-6014934/

Mumbai woman duped of Rs 4.57 lakh by FB friend, accomplice

The woman, employed with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), has alleged that her Facebook friend, who claimed to be from Spain, duped her under the pretext of getting gifts for her.

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The police said that the woman, a resident of Kopar Khairane, allegedly received a friend request on June 16 from a person named Azman Gomes. (Representational Image)

THE NAVI MUMBAI Police is on the look out for unidentified cyber frauds, who allegedly duped a 50-year-old woman to the tune of Rs 4.57 lakh.

The woman, employed with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), has alleged that her Facebook friend, who claimed to be from Spain, duped her under the pretext of getting gifts for her.

The police said that the woman, a resident of Kopar Khairane, allegedly received a friend request on June 16 from a person named Azman Gomes. He claimed to be from Spain and indicated that he held a senior post in the country’s airport authority.

“The woman has said that on Facebook, after Gomes uploaded images indicating that he was employed at the airport, she accepted his friend request. The two then started chatting and eventually, shared each other’s contact numbers,” said a police officer.

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While Gomes never answered video calls, the two would chat day in and day out on FB and WhatsApp. The police said the two declared their love for each other during the course of these conversations. On July 5, Gomes told the woman that he was coming to India and would be bringing expensive gifts for her, the officer said.

The next morning, the woman received a call from another woman, who claimed to be a Customs official from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. The woman was informed that her Facebook friend has been arrested and is in their custody for carrying foreign currency that ran into crores of rupees.

On July 6, the caller initially asked the woman to pay Rs 30,000 as fine to free Gomes. “She paid the money but the frauds kept calling her and asked her to pay more under various pretexts, including foreign currency conversion charges, lawyer’s charges, getting a security clearance certificate, paying penalties for violation of foreigners’ laws. She eventually ended up paying Rs 4.57 lakh over two days, July 6 and July 7,” the officer said.

Later, when the caller again demanded money, she refused to pay. The woman eventually realised that she has been duped when both Gomes and the “customs official” stopped responding to her calls. She then approached the Kopar Khairane police. A case of impersonation and cheating under Indian Penal Code and IT Act was registered last week.

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