HYDERABAD: So next time you click on the picture of that tall, dark and handsome guy with hotness tumbling out of his profile picture on a matrimonial website, resist your temptation from wandering into wilderness of your possible nuptial life and spare a moment in doing a background check instead.
According to the city police, of the total cases registered this year, 20 per cent belong to cyber crimes committed against women, that involved duping money after promising marriage online, morphing of pictures, blackmailing, stealing of ATM cards details, etc. Such cases can be much higher than the reported ones since family pressure on women, forcing them not to come out in public, in fear of jeopardising their future marriage proposals and public image allow the perpetrators to prowl with impunity, admitted the cops.
Speaking to City Express, S Jayaram, assistant commissioner of police Cyberabad said, “Cyber crimes against women have certainly gone up this year. However, families are often reluctant to report the issue as it involves their daughters.” The cop added that such crimes are always on their top priority. Recently, Radha (name changed), a resident of Jupally Cyberabad, was duped by a 24-year-old student who posed as a techie from Bangalore. The accused Panati Sasi Kumar approached Radha through a matrimonial site. Later he met Radha’s family too and promised to get her younger sister a job in a MNC through backdoor in lieu of `1.5 lakh. However, he did not help her get the job and instead stopped contacting them. He even threatened the woman that he would post her morphed pictures on social networking sites if she demanded the money. When the distraught Radha approached the police, investigation revealed that Kumar had married as many as 30 woman and had sent proposals to 700 others through his profiles on various matrimonial sites.
Radha’s is not an isolated case. In the last few months, several such cases have been reported. Swati (name changed), an interior designer was also cheated by a fraudster on a matrimonial site who made her believe that he was the US-educated guy with a fat paycheck. Instead he vanished with `35,000 that he borrowed from her.
In yet another case, a young divorcee was cheated by a man named Anil Kumar Naidu, who claimed to be working in L&T. He convinced the woman’s mother that he was also a divorcee and fixed the alliance. He took thousands of rupees from them before calling off the match and absconding.
Shahina Khan, a doctor and resident of Banjara Hills whose elder sisters were registered with matrimonial sites, says many fraudsters prowl such sites with fake profiles and cheat women, luring them with marriage proposals. “While some meet the families, show off their lavish lifestyles to convince the victims before fleecing them, for others it’s a way of acquiring cheap thrills by sexually exploiting women after building romantic relationships.”
Cops, however, feel that the victims are just as much to be blamed. “Though these sites do not verify the information given by those registered, parents have to do a through background search and not get carried away by attractive profile photos which are often turn out to be downloaded from internet,” says the ACP.
Meanwhile, when City Express tried to contact Bharat Matrimony and Shaadi.com to enquire if they have any mechanism to seive through fake profile or persons with multiple profiles, they refused to comment on the issue. “We can’t disclose such things,” said Deepali, central manager at Shaadi.com, Hyderabad.
Cops say anyone who chats online, is registered on matrimonial websites or gets into relationships over the social media can fall into traps of conmen. Such accused are booked under IPC and IT Act. As a precautionary measure police also gets in touch with all contacts on accused’s phone and coax people to register complaints if they have been cheated by them. In addition to this, police also suggests some safety measures:
- Create a profile only on a registered matrimonial site
- Verify educational qualification and job description by checking certificates and calling up the employer
- Accord same amount of caution even if you are going for second marriage. Instead of taking decision on your own, its better to involve family members
- Visit the person’s house and meet his/her parents/ relatives not once but a number of times. Invite them to your house as well
- Hire police approved private detectives to get all information about the person