Mumbai Crime: Widower duped online of Rs 24 lakh
On July 27, he transferred Rs 6.90 lakh. Within a couple of days, he received another mail requesting more money. He sent her Rs 3 lakh. The requests continued and Fernandes kept paying
A 66-year-old widower was cheated of Rs 24 lakh by an online 'friend'. The Navi Mumbai police have booked an unknown person for cheating. The woman, who claimed to be living in America, allegedly used various pretexts to dupe the man.
Simon Fernandes (name changed to protect identity), a resident of Kopar Khairane, was going through a tough time. His wife died of cancer in 2014 and their daughter is physically challenged. Simon's son is studying in the USA. Lonely and seeking companionship, he decided to register on a matrimonial site in June 2016. Within a few days, he received a friend request from a certain Maria Chandra. On browsing her profile, he found that she works as an architect in the US. "Both exchanged numbers and started chatting regularly," said an officer from Kopar Khairane police station.
In July 2016, he reportedly received an email from Chandra saying her work-related goods had got stuck in the customs clearing process at the Turkey port. Fernandes offered to help. On July 27, he transferred R6.90 lakh. Within a couple of days, he received another mail requesting more money. He sent her R3 lakh. The requests continued and Fernandes kept paying.
On October 24 2016, he received an email from a man who identified himself as Dr Ahmet Ozcan. The mail said Maria had met with an accident at the airport while en route to India and that she needed more money. It's at this point that Fernandes finally realised something was fishy. He then began asking Maria to return the money over email. She assured she would pay up once she is in India. This went on for two-and-half years, before Fernandes decided to lodge a complaint.
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