DEHRADUN: Be careful about what new friends promise you on Facebook. A woman was lured into parting with Rs 1.30 crore by a "friend" she had made on Facebook after he assured her a sum of $1.5 million (about Rs 9 crore) to open an old-age home in Dehradun.
The victim, Beena Bor Thankur, a resident of Ram Vihar, was first asked to "clear a tax" to get the amount though. Falling into the trap, she deposited Rs 1.3 crore in various bank accounts only to realize soon after that she had been fooled.
According to the police complaint, Thakur, wife of an ONGC employee, came into contact with a man who identified himself as Richard Anderson through Facebook in November last year. The two soon began chatting over phone as well.
"In the telephonic conversations, Anderson told Beena that he wanted to help the people of India and came up with several proposals to that end. He also sought suggestions from her. Following that, he assured her that he would provide Rs 9 crore for the oldage home," Ajay Rautela, SSP, Dehradun, said. A few days later, Thakur received a call in which the caller claimed he was from the foreign exchange branch of Reserve Bank of India. He told Thakur she could claim the amount by paying the tax due on it," Rautela added.
Thakur deposited the money in various branches and later received calls from two persons who called themselves William George and Kevin Brown, asking her for more money. In total, she deposited Rs 1.30 crore in 25 accounts.
A case under section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC has now been registered against Anderson, George, Brown and one more person. Station officer VK Jheta said that efforts are on to trace details of the bank accounts in which the money had been deposited. "Most of these accounts are from South India, that is, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka," he added.