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New-age Girishams on prowl, target widows, divorcees

Watch out for modern day characters like Girisham, a wily and manipulative character in the iconic play ‘Kanyasulkam’, targeting widows and divorcees.

Published: 30th September 2018 02:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th September 2018 02:09 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: Watch out for modern day characters like Girisham, a wily and manipulative character in the iconic play ‘Kanyasulkam’, targeting widows and divorcees. While the suave character in the play written by renowned social reformer Gurajada Apparao uses his glib tongue to trap young widows, the cyber crooks are using online matrimonial sites to take widows and divorcees for a ride.  

Several cases of young widows and divorcees falling prey to matrimonial frauds in Vizag came to light. The fraudsters befriended five women and duped them of Rs 40 lakh in the last 10 months. Dubbing the cases  ‘Nigerian frauds’, police say recovering the lost money is a herculean task. 

Take for instance, a few months back, a divorced woman from the city received ‘interest’ in a leading matrimonial site from the fraudster, who claimed that he was an NRI from Canada. The fraudster befriended the woman through a fake profile, photos and details. He won her trust by promising to arrive in Vizag and marry her soon. Swept off her feet by his promise, the woman started preparing for the wedding.

But there was the catch. One fine day, she received a call from the fraudster, who claimed he was stopped at the airport by the customs and was asked to deposit some amount for clearance of valuables he bought from Canada. She didn’t think twice and went on depositing Rs 25 lakh in installments in different accounts of her ‘dream boy’.  She sold her jewellery and raised loans for the purpose. It was not long before she realised that she was tricked.

In another recent incident, another divorced woman and doctor from city was duped of Rs1 lakh by a Hyderabad-based cheat, Macharla Shyam Mohan, a father of two kids. He created a fake profile claiming to be a joint director of Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) from Karnataka. 

Investigation revealed that Mohan, who was a former IT employee, duped several women from AP, Mumbai and Karnataka of Rs 8 lakh. In this case, as per Visakhapatnam city police, Mohan cheated the woman claiming that his annual income was Rs 50 lakh. After gaining her confidence, he asked her to buy ACs and other household items for their new home. She did as bidden by the man in Hyderabad. After getting two ACs, he started dodging her phone calls.  Police said Mohan used the same modus operandi to dupe many women in Karnataka and Maharashtra.In the first case, police had recovered about Rs12 lakh, while in the second case, only Rs 70,000 was recovered.

“The modus operandi is simple. The fraudsters create fake IDs with fake pictures, details and claim to be NRIs. Their target invariably is divorced and young widows. Unmarried women generally consult their parents if they receive such calls and the latter will directly deal the alliance. But divorced and young widows tend to take decisions on their own,” Inspector of Cyber Crime Police Station V Gopinath told TNIE.

Fraudsters gain trust of women through mails, WhatsApp chats and phone calls. After befriending them, they propose. They then cook up usual stories that they were stopped at the airport by customs for bringing valuable gifts or foreign exchange into the country. In some cases, they claim that someone close in the family fell sick and they need some urgent loan. Police said the bank accounts which the fraduster gives doesn’t belong to him. “The accounts belong to someone else who even don’t know about the fraud. The fraudster pays about Rs 5,000 to Rs10,000 as commission, and uses strangers’ accounts. After withdrawing cash from the account, he flees,” Gopinath added..


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