A 42-year-old housewife from Thane in Maharashtra was allegedly cheated of Rs 19.15 lakh by an unidentified man who claimed himself to be based in the US, the police said Tuesday.
The accused, who gave his name as Derrick Joe, came into contact with the woman who had just started her own business dealing with international clients, a police official said.
According to police, the accused identified himself as the son of a friend of the woman's father who is based in the US.
The accused stayed in touch with the woman through social media.
He told her that he was into the business of wines.
"He offered to send the woman gifts through a parcel, which she refused. However, the accused insisted and told her that he was sending her a parcel containing leather bags, purses, wrist watches, chain lockets, and laptops," the official said.
On August 28, the woman received a call from a man who identified himself as Delhi-based Central Excise Assistant Commissioner Sumit Kumar.
"Kumar told the woman that her parcel had landed in Delhi and that she would have to pay Rs 68,000 towards excise duty," the official said.
When she refused to accept the parcel, he threatened to arrest her.
"Scared by Kumar's threat, the woman transferred the money to his bank account, but was never given the parcel," he said.
The man then kept extracting money from the woman under one pretext or the other.
Realising that she was cheated, the woman approached the police.
A case has been registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Information Technology (IT) Act, the official added.
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