A woman posing as a doctor settled in the United Kingdom (UK) allegedly duped a man from Odisha of around Rs 4 lakh through a matrimonial website.
The victim has been identified as Sarba Prasanna Panda, a resident of Gopinathpur village under Nischintakoili block of Cuttack district.
A case in this regard has been lodged at the Nemalo Police Station by Panda following which an investigation has been initiated into the matter.
As per the complaint, the woman introduced herself as Preeti Rajput, a native of Chhattisgarh. She claimed she was a medical practitioner at a private hospital in UK. She said she was living with her mother in UK, the complaint stated.
As per reports, Panda had registered himself for marriage in Odia Matrimony. In May, he met Preeti through the website and started speaking to her. They also shared their Whatsapp numbers and spoke over phone. Later, Preeti expressed her interest in marrying him and promised to tie the nuptial knot after her return to India within a couple of months.
"I had downloaded the Odia Matrimony and registered myself for marriage proposals. She contacted me over the application and started speaking to me on Whatsapp and phone calls. Later, she expressed her desires to marry me," said Panda.
A couple of days later, Preeti allegedly told Panda that her mother had sent gifts for him.
"She told me that her mother wanted to send some gifts and sought my address. She said the gifts were a watch, a bracelet, a gold chain and some dollars and promised that once she returns to India, we would get married," Panda said.
Panda further stated that after two-three days, a woman claiming to be a employee of a private airlines, contacted him over phone from Delhi and said that a parcel had come in his name.
"She said I need to pay some charges online for the delivery and accordingly paid Rs 38,000, as asked by her. The next day, she called again and said when the box was scanned by them, they found US dollars of around Rs 37 lakh in Indian currency. As the amount was huge, she requested to pay a penalty of around Rs 4 lakh or else the dollars would be seized by the Customs Department," informed the complainant.
"I contacted Preeti and briefed her the situation. She requested me to pay the compensation and take the gifts. Following this, I arranged around Rs 3.95 lakh from my friends and relatives and paid them in two different bank accounts after two-three days. The woman again called me after an hour the same day and said the processing is on and an anti-money laundering certificated is required to convert the money in Indian currency for which I needed to pay another Rs 5 lakh," added Panda.
On this, Panda realised that he has been duped and he immediately lodged an FIR with the Nemalo Police.
Meanwhile, Salepur SDPO Prashant Majhi informed that a case has been registered and an investigation is underway.
"We have sought the assistance of Cyber Cell. We are investigating the bank accounts and whatsapp number. We hope the swindler will be nabbed soon," added the SDPO.