Beware of the 'Russian cyber wife' who is ready for anything



 Cyber law experts say this is one scam that male users of social networking sites like Orkut or Facebook might be mostly familiar with. According to Mr Debasis Nayak, director of Asian School of Cyber Laws, Pune, “the first contact is with emails where the fraudster sends an email with an attractive looking photograph telling the victim that she found his profile attractive.’’ She usually gave some information introducing herself like her age, where she stayed and worked and in return sought some information from the victim.

 The unsuspecting victim, already curious, furnishes the information about himself thus beginning a communication process which might last 6 to 15 weeks. During this period, the fraudster developed a fair degree of intimacy with the victim and says she wanted to meet him.

“Usually, the fraudster gets ready to travel to wherever the victim stays or in rare cases she may ask the victim to travel to meet her,’’ Nayak said.   
She then lets the victim know that the meeting might not be possible since she did not have the required funds for travel, visa and other documents.  “By this time, the victim is  ready to send her money to help her. Once the victim sends her money, the scam is complete,’’ he said citing case studies. The fraudster kept siphoning money from the victim till he realised that he was being defrauded.

 Nayak said that most victims in such cases were too embarrassed to approach the police.

“For those who did, the investigations begin with retrieval of Internet Provider (IP) address from email headers to track the physical location of the fraudster. Most of the IP addresses showed the location to be Russia. For all practical purposes, the investigations did not progress further,” he said.

The two-day workshop which concluded on Sunday was attended by Chief Justices of all the four southern states as well as judges of Supreme Court and high courts besides prosecutors and law officials.

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