Bardoli (Gujarat): A property dealer of Kadodara Nagar here had to pay a heavy price for chatting with a foreigner girlfriend on FB Messenger. Lured by an offer of a Rs 35-crore gift, the man paid Rs 27.9 lakh in instalments as customs and other charges. Eventually, it turned out that there was no gift and that he had lost the money for good.
Pramod Kumar Singh hails from Bihar and lives in Kailash Dham housing society in Kadodara Nagar, Palsana Tehsil. About ten months back, he got introduced to Donald alias Hanagre, an Iraqi woman through Facebook. They soon started chatting through FB messenger and the woman trapped him with her smooth talk.
The woman said that she was so enamoured of him and that she wanted to present her a gift hamper worth Rs 35 crore. But, he was told, he would have to deposit Rs 27.9 lakh as customs and other charges. He agreed.
From December 2017 onwards, he started getting call after call, ostensibly from the the RBI, the Customs and the Income Tax departments asking him to pay this or that charge. He paid Rs 3.79 lakh to the RBI, Rs 7.22 lakh to the Income Tax Department, Rs 14.79 lakh to the customs, totalling Rs 27.9 lakh. Next, he was asked to deposit Rs 11.69 lakh as ‘activation charges’. This made him suspicious and he rushed to Delhi. There, he came to know that no one from the RBI or Customs or I-T department had telephoned and that the bank accounts in which he had deposited the money were in foreign banks.
His girlfriend, of course, is untraceable.