Hyderabad: Many men are visiting matrimonial sites for dubious purposes. The main reason is to prey on single, lonely middle-aged women or divorcees. These unscrupulous types send gifts and even meet the family to convince the victims to marry them before extracting a huge amount from them and fleeing. Hyderabad city police have warned women to be careful while looking for NRIs or well-educated grooms online.
“Me and my family were searching for grooms online, when we came across a profile of a 30-year-old from Luck-now, residing in Delhi. We exchanged phone numbers and started talking and became close over late night calls and texts. He gradually divulged that he had recently quit his job and was in need of cash. He convinced me to send him a large amount of money over the next few months,” recalls a 26 year-old victim from Kukatpally. Single mothers and single women are the most vulnerable.
“The scamsters pretend to be youn-ger than the victims and claim to be MNC employees or NRIs. They provide emotional support to the victims and send gifts to impress them. Single women, who do not have a strong family support to verify or check the background of pros-pective groom who-m they met online, could well get fooled,” said an investigator of matrimonial fraud cases. It’s no longer just the women who are the victims.
Men are facing similar incidents where women have masqueraded as damsels-in-distress to dupe them.
In March, the Cyber Crime Police arrested one Y. Srilatha, alias Sushmitha, from Benga-luru, who trapped and conned men, making them transfer more than `1.5 lakh within a week.
Even the biggest websites do not have policies to perform background checks of those who post their profiles.
The ‘terms and conditions’ posted by websites state that it is the user’s responsibility to verify the antecedents of the people, whose profiles are on their websites.
Cyber Crime police say it’s not possible to take action against such matrimonial websites, since none of them have any methods to verify the authenticity of an account-holder.
Most matrimonial websites have these sentences included in their terms and conditions: “The website is not responsible for any illegal act done by any third party relating to or connected with any information submitted by you or on your behalf, or any cybercrime attempted or committed by anyone”.
In matrimonial fraud, police can only book cases for cheating, extortion, and breach of trust....