Facebook friend lures woman, swindles over Rs 3.4 lakh

Facebook friend lures woman, swindles over Rs 3.4 lakh

A fraudster who became friends with a 30-year-old private company employee on Facebook swindled Rs 3.4 lakh on Friday by luring her with an alleged £40,000 gift.

The woman, Mary Jayanthi, borrowed from friends and relatives, besides losing her lifetime savings, to pay the man. She lodged a complaint with the Ashok Nagar police over the incident.

In her complaint, Mary, who resides in Viveknagar, said the man identified himself as Michael and pinged her on Facebook messenger using the reference of a common friend in October. Michael requested her to add him to her friends’ list and soon, the two began chatting regularly.

Michael told the woman that he is from the UK and is leading a lavish life.

In December, he told Mary that he had sent a gift, which he wanted her to accept. Mary reluctantly agreed.

In the second week of January, Mary received a call from a woman, who identified herself as Tanya Grover. Tanya said she is an executive from an international courier agency, based in Bengaluru.

Tanya told Mary that there is a gift parcel to her address containing £44,000 from Michael and asked her to pay Rs 28,500 as courier charges.

Mary made an online transfer of the cash to the bank account given by Tanya. The courier executive confirmed the receipt of the payment and asked Mary for a further
Rs 3.4 lakh as GST on the foreign currency.

An unsuspecting Mary borrowed money from relatives and friends, promising to return it soon and transferred it to various accounts.

Mary realised she had been conned when Tanya did not call her and her phone was switched off.

Mary could not reach Michael as his phone was also unreachable and his Facebook account deactivated.