Online 'girlfriend' dupes Delhi man of Rs 1.5 lakh

Investigators say that luring innocent people by showing recorded obscene videos has become a common modus operandi of cybercriminals.

NEW DELHI: Twenty-two-year-old Naved Khan, a resident of Laxmi Nagar here, recently received a WhatsApp message on his mobile phone which read, "Will you romance with me? Reply Yes/No."

Seconds after responding with a "Yes", he got a video call from a girl who introduced herself as Pooja from Agra.

"She started undressing and asked me to take off my trousers. I didn't remove them completely but she made a recording. Later, I received a WhatsApp message that they have made my recording and are going to put it on social media sites," Khan wrote in his complaint to the police.

He added, "Out of fear, I uninstalled WhatsApp and deleted all my social media accounts. But the next day I got a call from someone who introduced himself as an officer of Delhi Police's cyber cell. He said that he has a complaint against me based on which he was going to issue a warrant."

The fraudster asked him to make a video call for which Khan reinstalled WhatsApp and spoke to him. He then asked Khan to contact one Monu Panchal who would help him get his video deleted. When Khan called Panchal, he demanded Rs 21,800 to get the job done. He also promised that the money would be returned later.

"He gave me an account number of Axis Bank which was in the name of Jatin Kukreja. I transferred the money but was then asked to deposit the same amount three more times totalling Rs 64,500 as three more videos had to be deleted. I was given another account of HDFC bank which was in the name of Ramgopal," Khan said in his complaint which has been converted into an FIR by police.

Sometime later, Khan again got a call from Panchal who said that he had written an email to the cyber cell officer to process his case and that he should talk to him.

"When I called the cyber cell officer, he demanded Rs 1.5 lakh more. Upon my request, he reduced the amount and I paid the money. But he kept on asking for more money," Khan said, adding that he had no option but to report the matter to police.

According to the cyber cell, the matter is being probed and efforts are on to identify the criminals. Investigators say that luring innocent people by showing recorded obscene videos has become a common modus operandi of cybercriminals.

A gang of cybercriminals, who used to blackmail people by making obscene video calls, was busted in Shahdara on March 27, officials said.

Rohit Meena, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shahdara District said instead of getting into the trap of such gangs out of fear of being shamed on social media, people should immediately report such matters to authorities.

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