Police have registered a case under sections of cheating and impersonation Wednesday after a Matunga-based woman was allegedly duped of Rs 5 lakh on the pretext of securing bail for her social media “friend” purportedly caught with one million pounds at New Delhi airport.
According to police, the fraudster had created a fake Facebook profile with the name of Mark Garry and befriended the woman by introducing himself as an UK-based entrepreneur, keen on starting a hotel chain in India.
On March 23, the accused had also sent a personalised message to the woman enquiring if she was interested in becoming his business partner for his India project, police said.
In April, Gary reportedly told the woman that he would visit India for the business deal, following which on April 8, the victim got a call from a woman who identified herself as an immigration department officer in New Delhi. The officer purportedly told the victim that Gary has been caught with one million pounds and asked her to arrange for his release.
“The complainant first sent Rs 35,000 to an account as Gary claimed that the immigration officers were ready for a settlement. Later, he contacted the victim and said money seized was in pounds and required to converted in Indian currency, the officers were asking for Rs 1.35 lakh, which she then transferred,” an officer from Matunga police station said.
The fraudsters again contacted the woman, saying they were yet to receive the amount and threatened to arrest Gary. They said, he would be kept in their custody for a day and produced in court the next day. “The next day, Gary called the woman and requested her to talk to his advocate. She was then made to pay his fees,” the officer said.
On April 15, Garry again contacted her again and asked her to transfer another Rs 10,000 and promised to ask his manager to transfer the sum back to her account. The woman realised that she had been duped only after Gary deleted his Facebook profile and his phone went unreachable. After conducting preliminary inquiry, police have registered a case under relevant sections of cheating and impersonation under Indian Penal Code and IT Act on Wednesday.