Mysuru: Police have nabbed a 25-year-old girl from Bengaluru on charges of luring a youth through a fake social media profile and cheating him and his family members of Rs 20 lakh in cash and gold jewellery.
Police said on Wednesday that the accused Megha alias Harini, who had a Facebook profile by a different name (Chinugowda Chinugowda), befriended Ravi, a youth from Mysuru, by sending him a friend request. Sending photographs of a beautiful girl, Megha introduced herself as a resident of Vijayanagar 2nd stage in Mysuru, and her father owned two petrol bunks and a couple of bars.
Megha began luring Ravi by claiming she was besotted by him ever since she saw him near the water tank in Vijayanagar in Mysuru. Soon, Megha and Ravi exchanged their mobile numbers and began talking with each other.
Days before Ravi’s birthday, Megha said she was planning to give him a SUV, worth Rs 45 lakh, as a birthday gift and was short of just Rs 1.5 lakh. She said she would send her friend Shivu to collect the money she had fallen short of from Ravi.
After collecting the money that he gave for the car, Megha asked Ravi to inform his mother about their marriage plans and sought to be introduced to her. Once she was introduced to Ravi’s mother, Megha began talking to her and got her to send her photographs as well. She informed Ravi that she liked the gold necklace her mother was wearing and asked him to send the same through a friend and she will return it after showing the design to her jeweller.
Ravi promptly sent his mother’s gold necklace weighing around 80 grams and a silk saree as well. Soon, Megha convinced Ravi to send all the jewellery belonging to his mother so that she could also procure for herself the same designs when she comes as “her daughter-in-law”. As Megha was promising to return all the jewellery after showing the designs to her jeweller, Ravi obliged and sent different sets of gold jewellery weighing a total of 480 grams.
But, the gold jewellery was never returned even after several days. Initially, she cited several reasons for the delay and switched off her mobile phone and became untraceable.
Ravi approached the Metagalli police station in Mysuru on February 20, 2021, and lodged a complaint against her. During investigation, the police learnt that Shivu, who had been sent to collect cash and jewellery too, had not seen her. Like Ravi, Shivu too had been in touch with Megha only through Facebook. He had collected the cash and jewellery from Ravi and handed it over to one Vasanth, an auto driver. Though Vasanth had seen Megha, he was not aware of her handiwork.
Police said Megha was already facing cheating charges in Mandya East police station, where in 2018 she had similarly cheated one Yoganand of Rs 15 lakh after sending him a friend request through a different profile name and assuring him of a job in the Railways. In another complaint registered against her in Jnanabharathi police station limits in Bengaluru, she had contacted the complainant Srinivas through Facebook messenger in the guise of a prospective client looking for 8,000 to 10,000 sq. ft of commercial space and had cheated him of Rs 9.7 lakh.
Police said Megha, who had studied upto SSLC, used to enlist different middlemen for each of her crimes and would dump them after changing her mobile number.(UNI)