UP woman duped of Rs 32 lakh by Instagram friend from UK

New Delhi: In May, the Uttar Pradesh police department launched a dedicated helpline number 155260 to report online frauds and cybercrimes as part of a national initiative.

According to police, a woman from Uttar Pradesh was defrauded of almost Rs 32 lakh by a person she befriended on Instagram and who described himself as a UK citizen.

The woman, who lives in the state’s Raebareli district, claims she was caught after learning that a “present” and some “foreign currency” worth Rs 45 lakh had arrived in Delhi for her from the UK and that she would have to pay a charge to receive them, according to officials. Also Read: Airtel Offer: Get Rs 6000 cashback if you buy a phone

According to Raebareli Superintendent of Police Shlok Kumar, the situation has been reported to the police, and the case is being investigated by the cyber cell.

“Efforts are on to trace the culprits and bring back the money duped online from the victim,” Kumar told PTI. Also Read: Buying smartphone for elderly parents? Here’s how to make it user friendly

Officials say the woman met the man on Instagram in September, where he represented himself as “Harry,” a UK resident, and swapped phone numbers, sparking a series of regular talks over social media.

“Recently, she got a call over Whatsapp from a woman, who informed her that a gift box and some UK currency which amounts to Rs 45 lakh have arrived for her in Delhi. In order to collect it, she would have to pay a processing fee,” an official said.

“She was asked to make the payments online and in several installments. Eventually, she ended up transferring around Rs 32 lakh after which there was no communication from the other side,” the official said.

The woman then travelled to Delhi to check about the “present” that had been given to her from the United Kingdom, only to discover that she had been duped. On Tuesday, she returned to Raebareli and sought the district police head.

Meanwhile, Kumar warned people against falling for tempting online offers and schemes, and advised them to verify the validity of the people they are working with in order to avoid falling victim to cyber crooks.

In May, the Uttar Pradesh police department launched a dedicated helpline number 155260 to report online scams and cyber crimes as part of a national initiative.

People can also phone 112 to report any online fraud, according to UP Cyber Police chief Triveni Singh, who said that early reporting of frauds helps the police begin the process of blocking the stolen funds.

UP police had recovered about Rs 2 crore from state residents who had been tricked by cyber criminals, and another Rs 5 crore had been blocked in bank accounts that had been duped by thugs, as of September.

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