Crime happens to have many faces and India seems to feature all of them. While violent physical offences have engulfed the country, the cyberspace has been riddled with various felonies as well. From celebrity social media accounts getting hacked to extorting money by using fake ids, you name it. Now, in addition to all that, a businessman from Bengaluru recently became a victim of another such cyber-crime.
According to Times of India, a 34-year-old Bengaluru businessman lost nearly ₹ 60 lakh to a woman he had been acquainted with for almost a year.
The entire ordeal began when Suresh (name changed for confidentiality) had opened an account on a dating website. It was there where he met Arpita from Kolkata, who went by the user ID ‘shompa76’. And although they were complete strangers, it took a few altercations for Arpita to extract Satish’s mobile number and photos as well.
It didn’t take Arpita a lot of time to open up to Suresh and utilise the usual tricks that cyber-criminals use to steal money.
A few days after communicating with each other, Arpita requested ₹ 30,000 for her fake father, who was admitted to BM Birla Heart Research Centre, Kolkata. Once that money was transferred, she kept asking for more.
Considering how this went on for some time, Suresh ended up sending a total of ₹ 59.7 lakh in the time-frame of December, 2017 to January, 2018. However, once Arpita ceased to respond to his messages and calls, Suresh grew suspicious and filed his first official complaint.
As the internet doesn’t provide a lot of transparency, it has become easier than before to blackmail others or steal money from them. A police official who’s working on Suresh’s case said,
“In matrimonial and dating websites, cyber criminals pick aged or separated men/women looking for a relationship. They pose as rich entrepreneurs, manipulate the victims and steal their money.”
Technology was supposed to make our lives easier and make us smarter as a race. However, somewhere along the line, we’ve become more naive than our predecessors due to a false sense of insecurity and need for attention. So if we don’t want this to happen to us, we must first take a hold of our lives before buying our next smartphone and opening our latest e-account.