Pune Woman Scammed For Rs 18.12 Lakh By Facebook Friend

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Pune Woman Scammed: An FIR has been launched against an online fraudster who befriended a Pune woman on Facebook and duped her of Rs 18.12 lakh on the pretext of sending her an expensive gift.

The 43-year-old woman then lodged a complaint at the Wanavdi police station under Section 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under various sections of the Information Technology Act.

According to the police, the woman received a friend request on Facebook from an account named “Droscar Santiago” in December 2020 and she accepted it. After the duo started chatting and talking to each other on phone, the fraudster claimed that he was a foreigner. He told the complainant that he had sent her a costly gift and asked her to transfer money into various bank accounts towards custom duty and other charges to claim the gift.

Till January 2021, the woman paid Rs 18.12 lakh to the fraudster but never received the gift. She approached the police after filing a complaint against the fraudster. The police have now registered an FIR after verifying the woman’s complaint.

In a similar incident, a school teacher from the UK lost about Rs 9.28 lakh to online scammers. The teacher named Julie Bushnell is a cryptocurrency investor and fell for a Bitcoin scam that used a story featuring Elon Musk. She read a news story that claimed that Musk would pay back double the amount of any Bitcoin deposit. However, after Bushnell transferred the amount into the scammers’ account, no money came back and she realised that she was scammed.

According to the BBC, the online fraudsters created a fake website which made the fake news look authentic. She later reported the incident to the local police and said that she had saved the money for buying a new house. She further added that the scam affected her massively and she wished to back in time and not make “those couple of clicks”.