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Hoping to find gay partner on dating app, Mumbai man loses Rs 10 lakh to cyber fraud | Mumbai News | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


A 28-year-old man working for a five-star hotel in Mumbai has lost nearly Rs 10 lakh to a cyber fraudster who posed as a doctor from Texas in the United States and cheated the man while he was looking for a gay partner on an online dating platform.

The Meghwadi police registered a case on Friday based on the complaint of the man from Jogeshwari (East)and began a probe.

In January, while using the dating app he downloaded a year ago, the complainant received a message from Ramos Bennard, who claimed to be a doctor living in Texas. He befriended the complainant and also shared some of his pictures. After two or three days, Bennard shared a phone number, and then the two started conversing on WhatsApp.

On January 30, Bennard asked the complainant to help him visit popular tourist places in India during his vacation starting on February 5. Bennard sent photos of an expensive wristwatch, claiming he wanted to gift it to the complainant and was bringing it to India.

On February 5, Bennard sent photos of his air tickets between Houston and New York and New York and New Delhi to the complainant while travelling.

Festive offer

Next day, the complainant received a message from Bennard, who informed him that he was stopped at the Delhi airport by the immigration officers as he was carrying foreign currency worth $2,45,000 (equivalent to around Rs 2.04 crore), the FIR stated.

Sometime later, the complainant received a call from a woman named Priya, who identified herself as a customs officer. She informed him about Bennard’s detention and asked the complainant to pay Rs 75,000 tax to get Bennard released.

The complainant verified this with Bennard, who requested that he pay the taxes and get him released. The complainant transferred the money to a given bank account. Later, Bennard sought help from the complainant for other ‘formalities’ and convinced the complainant to pay towards the foreign currency conversion charges, accommodation fees, food charges, compensation charges, anti-money laundering taxes, etc., the complaint said.

A source said that between February 6 and March 6, the complainant transferred Rs 9.76 lakh in 26 transactions in various bank accounts as directed by Bennard.

The complainant smelt a rat when he observed that Bennard still asked for more money to help him get released from immigration detention. He discussed the matter with close friends who asked him to approach the police.

A police officer said the Meghwadi police suspect a Nigerian cyber fraud racket as it uses a similar modus operandi to target gullible people online.

© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd

First uploaded on: 24-03-2024 at 14:28 IST


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