A well-meaning South Mumbai-resident became the latest victim of online fraud.In a bid to help cancer patients, 38-year-old Sumaiya Momeen ended up sending lakhs of rupees to a fraudulant Facebook friend, and a woman who posed as a customs officer.
The victim was intially befriended by a person who went with name 'Max Johanx' on Facebook. Upon establishing a cordial relationship via messages, he told Momeen that he was sending gifts from New York that he hoped Momeen would donate to an NGO. Meanwhile, his accomplice posed as a customs officer from India and asked the victim to pay 'import' fees.
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As per a report in the Indian Express, the J J Marg police, where the victim filed a complaint, were quoted as having said, "They started chatting on Facebook following which they shared phone numbers with each other. Johanx said he wanted to donate money for cancer patients in India. He claimed that his wife died due to cancer so, he wanted to provide medical treatment for cancer patients. On September 18, Johanx claimed that he was sending gifts from New York and asked the woman to donate the gifts to an NGO."
They were reported to have added, "The victim consulted the New York man, who assured her that he would repay the amount to her. Momeen then paid Rs 4.5 lakh (through online transfers) in three installments." However, Momeen became suspicious when the customs officer said the proceeds would go towards an “Anti-Terrorism certificate”.
The money Sumaiya spent, came from the funds she, and her husband, had gathered for their son's education. In addition, she even borowed money from relatives. Based on the couple's complaint, the JJ Marg police have registered a case under sections 420 and 34 of the IPC for cheating and dishonesty.
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