Online scams have become rampant in India, including Aadhaar scams, KYC scams, online job scams, and more. Fraudsters are constantly devising new ways to deceive and defraud people for their money. Platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram have become popular spaces for scammers to connect with potential victims, and even dating apps are vulnerable to such scams. In a recent incident, a scammer used the dating app Bumble to target a potential victim and managed to siphon off around Rs 1 lakh."
The scam involved a 35-year-old PhD scholar employed at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-IMTech in Sector 39, Gurugram. The scholar was using her Bumble app when she made contact with someone called Dr. Aayaan Kumar George in September of this year on the Bumble App. The man claimed to be a doctor living in the United Kingdom and initiated contact with the scholar in September 2023. The two began communicating through WhatsApp, and their conversations continued over time, reports The Indian Express.
The victim's situation took a turn for the worse when one day she received a WhatsApp call from George, who said he had arrived at Delhi airport on September 28 with his mother. Soon after, she received another WhatsApp call from a woman who claimed to be a customs officer. The fake officer told the victim that George had been found with 1 lakh UK pounds, which was more than the legal limit. The officer then demanded that the victim pay Rs 68,500 into an online account.
Concerned and confused, the victim did as she was told and transferred Rs 68,500 to the scammers' bank account. Then, another woman called the victim and demanded an additional Rs 3 lakh, saying that the amount of pounds was too high. The victim hesitated, but the woman caller handed the phone to Dr. George, who begged her to transfer the money.
According to the police, the victim explained that she could only send Rs 1 lakh because she had already transferred Rs 68,500. Under pressure, she transferred another Rs 30,000 to another account, as instructed by the woman caller who claimed to be a customs officer.
The victim eventually realized that she had been scammed and deleted the dating app, but the scammer persisted by calling her from a different WhatsApp number. In total, the victim lost Rs 98,500 to the scammers. A case was registered under sections 419, 420, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).