A Borivli air hostess's search for a life partner went horribly wrong after she was allegedly cheated of over Rs37 lakh by an American suitor she met through a matrimonial website about a year ago.
Pinki Contractor, the 35-year-old Borivli resident, has complained to the police that she met the man, Donald Sharma, on shaadi.com. Sharma, 38, told her he was employed with a shipping company and also had some businesses in New York.
She said that he expressed a desire to marry her. "The two got interested in each other and decided to get married. They would chat on Facebook and talk over the phone almost everyday. This went on for a year," said Narayan Khaire, senior inspector, Borivli police station.
A few months ago, Sharma called Contractor, saying he was in Malaysia on important shipping work and that he required Rs3 lakh. "He asked her to transfer the money online to his Indian bank account. The woman transferred the money from her account with HDFC Bank to his account," the police officer said.
Subsequently, he asked for money almost every week, saying he was in financial trouble and required money to expand his business. The woman continued to transfer money totalling Rs37.35 lakh during the period," Khaire said.
Then about a month ago, suddenly Sharma stopped calling Contractor. She tried to call him, but it appeared that his phone was switched off. She couldn't contact him online too.
Disturbed about this, Contractor told a friend, who suggested that she approach the police. The Borivli police have registered a case of cheating under sections of the Information Technology Act.
"His internet protocol address has been traced to the US. But his phone is off and it seems he used a fake name and account on shaadi.com. We are seeking the help of the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell to get more information," Khaire said.