Woman duped of Rs 24L by online ‘friend’

PUNE: Accepting a friend request from a stranger on a social networking site proved costly for a retired 69-year-old woman who was duped of Rs 24.16 lakh in May this year.

The woman transferred the money to the bank accounts of the suspect after he promised to send her a ‘costly’ gift.

The woman, according to Chatushrungi Police, was employed with a central government organisation and settled down in Baner after her retirement.

According to the compliant, the suspect befriended the woman on a social networking site.

Both of them soon started chatting online. After winning her confidence, the suspect forced her to disclose her cell phone number.

The two then started chatting on a mobile phone messaging service. On May 14, this year, the suspect informed her that she had had won a ‘costly’ gift — a set of gold ornaments made by a famous jewellery designer.

However, the suspect told her that in order to receive the gift she will have to transfer some ‘fees’ to a bank account. The suspect again informed her that her gift had got stuck in the customs clearance process and she will have to pay a ‘fine’. Again, the suspect told her to transfer the money to another bank account.

Senior inspector Dayanand Dhome of Chatushrungi police station told TOI “The woman withdrew her savings from her bank and transferred them to the accounts of the suspect,” Dhome said.

While transferring money to the account of the suspect, the woman did not consult her family members, he said.

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