Two men suspected to be Nigerian brothers have duped a woman to the tune of N2, 253, 952 in a romance scam in the city of Chennai, India.
A man who allegedly posed as ‘Salim’, and his brother, both Nigerian nationals, were arrested by Chennai city cyber cell officers, from New Delhi on August 30.
According to New India Express, the swindled woman, whose name was not disclosed, received a message on a matrimonial site that one Mohammed Salim from The Netherlands was interested in marrying her.
They began talking and a few days later, Salim told her he had sent her a gift. What followed was an elaborate scheme, at the end of which she was swindled of Rs 4 lakh.
The suspects, O. Paulinus Chikeluo (31) and O. Cletus Ikechukwu (23), have been remanded in judicial custody.
Paulinus posed as Salim, a doctor from The Netherlands, and Cletus posed as Asif, the groom’s brother. Police said the accused persons used stolen identities to cheat wealthy people on matrimonial sites. The fraudsters bought SIM cards and bank accounts from daily wage labourers or random people they would meet at liquor shops for Rs 10,000.
After ‘Salim’ told the woman he had sent the gift, the victim received a call from a woman, who identified herself as a Customs official.
“She told her the gift package contained thousands of Euros, and she had to pay Rs 28,000 for clearing the package. She then was eventually asked to pay Rs 77,000 to convert the currencies, Rs 95,000 to upgrade her bank account, Rs 20,000 for payment delay, Rs 50,000 to cancel the overdue and another Rs 1.35 lakh for a flight ticket for the groom’s brother to visit India,” the police said.
Meanwhile, when the victim grew suspicious and refused to pay the money, she received a message from Asif stating that Salim had attempted suicide because she refused to accept his gift.
“The fraudster threatened to file abetment to suicide case against the victim,” police sources said.
Frightened by the threats, she paid Rs 4.05 lakh to the fraudsters. Police have also seized the cash from the Nigerian duo.