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Kharghar resident loses ₹ 1.59 crore in crypto investment

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Navi Mumbai: A 38-year-old Kharghar resident lost Rs1.59 crore while investing in cryptocurrency on the recommendation of a woman who he had befriended on a dating application.

The complainant, a software engineer, downloaded the dating mobile app, OKcupid, in January 2022. Subsequently, he started chatting with a woman who identified herself as Mrs Rose Chen, a resident of Manila in the Philippines. While chatting, the woman convinced the complainant to invest in cryptocurrency and that she can say it with conviction as her family members are financial advisors.

Following her suggestion, the complainant opened an account at BINANCE, a cryptocurrency exchange and invested $199 (Rs16,110). Later, the woman sent him a link to register, where the complainant uploaded documents like Aadhar to complete the process. The woman claimed that the link was from a bank in Switzerland. Meanwhile, he saw that his investment of $199 had grown to $224, convincing him to invest more.

On April 5, when the complainant tried to withdraw $15,000 from his investment it was rejected. When he discussed the issue over chat, he was informed that two illegal transactions of $18,000 each, totalling $36,000 have been made from the account and they would complain to the police. However, it was suggested that $36,000 could be deposited to evade any problems, to which he agreed.

On April 19, his request to withdraw money was again rejected. When he raised the issue, he was asked to take a membership worth $18,888 to withdraw the money. As a result, he was duped of a $192,983.39 (Rs1,59,04726.09). 

At this point, the man realised that he had been cheated and approached Kharghar police, who have registered a case against an unidentified person for cheating under the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act.

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