The Mumbai police are on the lookout for fraudsters who allegedly duped a 46-year-old engineer to the tune of Rs 1.89 lakh. The police said that the complainant was swindled through a fake ‘friendship club’ under the pretext of providing an online escort service.
The police said the complainant is a resident of the Koliwada area in Sewri. He had come home on a break from work for two months, when on December 2 he got a text message from an unknown person. The message read, ‘If you are bored in life then chat with Samiksha’. The message also contained a contact number.
However, the complainant, who claims that he wanted to verify whether the number was correct, called on the number and then disconnected it before anyone answered. A few minutes later, a person returned the call and told him that they run a ‘friendship club’ and it is located near the Plaza Cinema in Dadar.
The caller further told him that he provides all types of services ranging from intimate chatting with women and escort services for both men and women. “The complainant then told the caller, who posed as a club employee, that he is interested in their escort service,” said an investigator. After which the caller informed him about the procedure that he had to follow to avail the service.
“After a while, the caller also gave him the number of a woman, who, the complainant was told, he could call and talk to,” said an officer from Wadala police station.
An investigator further said that the accused then asked the complainant to pay small amounts under the pretext of paying registration fees, getting a medical card, police verification and for booking a room in a hotel. “By the time the complainant could gauge that he was being duped, he had already transferred Rs 1.89 lakh on the account number provided by the caller,” said an officer.
After a while, the complainant contacted them again and asked them to cancel his booking. He then asked them to return his money which the caller refused claiming that doing that would alert the police. “Later when the complainant tried reaching them, the caller stopped answering his calls and after sometime even switched off their mobile phones,” said a police officer.
“We have already started scrutinising the call data records of the suspects from which they contacted the complainant. We have written to the bank and also asked for details of the bank account in which the complainant transferred the money,” said an officer.