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Hookah, wine and Rs 22,000: How online 'girlfriend' duped Pune man in another Romance scam?

In another unfortunate incident, a resident of Pune found himself cheated out of Rs 22,000 when the woman he thought would be his romantic partner turned out to be a fraudster.

Edited By: Surabhi Shaurya @SurabhiShaurya New Delhi Updated on: November 13, 2023 19:58 IST
How online 'girlfriend' duped pune man in another Romance scam?
Image Source : REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE Pune man duped of Rs 22,000 in another Romance scam

People have started relying on dating apps to find their soulmates. However, using Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble to connect with potential partners is not always a great idea as you can fall victim to romance scams. In yet another unfortunate case, a man from Pune lost Rs 22,000 after the woman who promised to be his partner turned out to be a scammer. 

 

What had happened? 

On September 30, the man found a match on Bumble and the duo decided to meet at Gypsy Restro Bar Bhugaon, Pune. The girl placed the order of wine and hukkah on their first meet. "Actually at this point, I had no idea of the costs of the order and the staff was too quick to get wine and hukkah in a jiffy," the man said.  

The man was left shocked when he saw the printed bill of Rs 22,000. Of the total amount, the hukka cost was ₹10,000, and wine bottle ₹15,000, and a wine glass ₹1,500.

The man claimed that his date threatened him to pay the bill else the the owner of the restaurant could damage his car. She said this bill needs to be paid or bar restaurant guys can damage your car in the parking and they have your car number with which they can find your address through RTO contacts and will connect double the amount at your home if you run away...I had to pay the bill of ₹22,000 ...".

The incident came to light after a social media user shared the story on her profile. 

 

"Guy matches girl on Bumble. She asks to meet within 2 days, chooses Gypsy Moto Pub specifically, Orders hukka wine immediately 

Guy slapped with Rs. 23K bill Girl threatens either he pays or be beaten up & his family involved", social media user Deepika Bharadwaj shared the man's story on X (previously Twitter). 

Delhi man duped of Rs 15,000 

Similarly, a Delhi-based journalist was duped of Rs 15,000 by a woman whom he met on Bumble.  When they met for their first physical date, he said that she abandoned it mid-way after making him place an order for food and drinks, after which he ended up paying more than Rs 15,000, and then she went ‘incognito’.

Taking to X, Archit Gupta said, "I thought, let's take a chance on Bumble and see if there is a genuine person to date. A girl named Divya Sharma (fake name) approached me and asked me to meet her at Rajouri Garden. She convinced me that she was looking for something meaningful.”

After returning from the restroom, Gupta saw that the bill was not there on the table. He further wrote, "She took me to a bar, The Race Lounge and Bar. Despite not being convinced of the place, Aifya (her real name, as per Truecaller) insisted that I sit there. She ordered some drinks for herself. I don't drink, so I just ordered a Red Bull. The bill for a hookah, 2-3 glasses of wine, 1 vodka shot, chicken tikka, and a water bottle was Rs 15,886.”

"I was shocked after seeing the bill. I paid for the bill. They tapped my card four times as there was some issue with their machine. Before leaving the place, I went to the washroom, and upon returning, I realised that the bill I left on the table was not there. She insisted on leaving the place, saying that her brother is coming to pick her up. When I came home, I realised that this is a scam.

How to safeguard yourself from dating scams?

  • Be careful of what you post online
  • Use reputable websites, although keep in mind that scammers are on these as well.
  • If you develop a relationship online: Research the person’s photo and profile
  •  Ask questions. If a person seems too good to be true, they probably is. 
  •  Beware if you are asked for inappropriate photos or financial information. 
  • Do not send money to people you meet online and have never met in person.
  •  Be suspicious if the person fails to show up for multiple attempts to meet and always has an excuse
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