Romance racket on rise in Pune: Know the downsides of dating apps, how to stay safe

Recently, there are multiple cases in Pune where many youths have fallen prey to dating app frauds
Romance racket on rise in Pune: Know the downsides of dating apps, how to stay safe
Representational imageImage source: Unsplash

Pune: Many in this world say love is free but fraudsters, especially those who are using dating apps as their ‘fraud tool’ seem to think differently. From the past few months, many dating frauds are on the rise in Pune.

Last year, the cyber police of Pune received 84 complaints about dating app fraud. Out of which 20 complaints are pending, while 64 are sent to the concerned police stations for further action. In 2019, 105 complaints were filed with the cyber police for the same kind of fraud. According to reports, multiple gangs associated from states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Kolkata are active in the online dating fraud.

Kumar Ghadge, Police Inspector of Cyber Crime Cell said, “These days, random people, the strangers target youth via social media platforms. There have been several cases of theft, blackmailing, robbery to name a few. Such incidents are taken seriously by the cyber police. People must also stay alert to avoid cybercrimes.”

HOW THE ROMANCE RACKET WORKS?

Fraudsters or romance scammers create fake profiles on dating sites or apps. Maximum time, they create fake names and stock photos while some of them steal real people’s name, display pictures as well as personal information. These fraudsters usually claim to have jobs that are highly paid.

In the next phase, they target such users who are new to the dating app or randomly texts anybody on the app. They spend months winning over the users with regular conversations. They also declare love – everything but not via face-to-face meetings.

These romancers ask money from the ‘matched partner’. They generally start with a small amount but once the user is hooked, they pretend to go through some kind of problems that requires a huge amount of cash to fix. These days these fraudsters are working with partners who pose as friends or doctors. These people back up their tale.

On another side, some also ask to meet face-to-face. Once they meet, they ask for drinks, food or a hangout. When these scammers meet the user on a so-called date, they add some substance in food or drinks leading to make the person dizzy or unconscious. At the same time, the fraudsters take the undue advantage, rob the mobile phone or other valuables and flee away.

Recently, there are multiple cases in Pune where many youths have fallen prey to such tricks and trap.

Also read: Pune: Bumble date turns into nightmare as man loses Rs 1.5 lakh

HOW TO STAY SAFE

· Do not click on any link which asks free dating.

· Do not share personal information with the ‘match’.

· Never share bank details to the people whom we don’t know in real.

· Do not fall for the emotional blackmail from the unidentified partner.

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