BENGALURU: Befriending a stranger on Facebook proved costly for this 22-year-old woman. They fell in love, and in a span of a year, he had visited her house many times and they had made their relationship physical. The man, Suresh (27), had also promised to marry the girl.
However, things took an ugly turn when she became pregnant and insisted they get married. He switched off his phone and deactivated his Facebook account. After understanding that they wouldn’t be getting married, she approached the police.
Police swung into action and arrested Suresh, a resident of Chamarajpet and native of Tamil Nadu. The woman only found out after getting pregnant that Suresh was already married. When he was in police custody, Suresh promised to marry her again, and pleaded with her to take the complaint back.
According to the complaint filed by Manasa (name changed), a resident of Koramangala, a year ago, she got a friend request from Suresh. She accepted and they started chatting regularly, even exchanging phone numbers.
In July 2018, when Manasa’s mother, sister and brothers were out of town, she found him waiting for her outside her house when she returned from work. He forced her to have sex with him, which is when he proposed to her. After this, they started a physical relationship.
Suresh told her not to tell anyone about the pregnancy, and assured her that they would get married. After waiting for a month, Manasa told her mother about the pregnancy. Suresh then met her mother and asked for some time to marry Manasa. After leaving the house, he switched off his phone and avoided Manasa. Meanwhile, Manasa found out he is already married from a friend of his, who also sent her a picture of Suresh and his wife.
An investigating officer said, “We have arrested Suresh, a private firm employee. He has assured Manasa that they would get married, we told him to get the register marriage and only then she will withdraw case against him.
Avoid befriending strangers on social media
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-East), Isha Pant, people befriending strangers online has become common these days. “People must understand that they may get in trouble by befriending strangers. I suggest that people don’t share personal details before knowing the background of the person. There are many such cases being reported across the city.”Another senior officer said, “Bengaluru witnesses at least one or two cases a day where people have got cheated by ‘friends’ on social media. Impersonation, morphing images into obscene ones and circulating them, blackmailing and even fraud cases get reported. Not only on Facebook and Twitter, these days, people are getting cheated on dating apps too.”
Lakhs lost in fraud cases
Last month, a 35-year-old woman lost Rs 11 lakh to a man who had promised to marry her. Shreya* befriended a man on FB. Using sympathy to gain her trust, he told Shreya about his mother being in hospital. After promising to marry her, the man asked for help in paying the hospital bills, after which he cut all ties with Shreya. In another incident, a 40-year-old woman lost Rs4 lakh last month. Janvi* met Rajiv* on a matrimonial site. Claiming to be a cardiologist in the UK, Rajiv said he wished to settle in India. He told her he was sending her gifts, and the next day, Janvi received a call from someone claiming to be from customs, and asked her to pay Rs 35,000 to collect the parcel. She made eight transactions totalling Rs 4 lakh. When Rajiv went missing, she suspected fowl play and registered a complaint. The case is being investigated.